Freescale, Tundra Enable Bandwidth-Hungry Broadband Systems

Freescale Semiconductor, a global semiconductor leader, and Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (TSX:TUN), the leader in System Interconnect, introduced a development platform that combines the industry’s highest performing programmable digital signal processors (DSPs) and the lowest power Serial RapidIO (sRIO) switch available.

The platform leverages Serial RapidIO interconnect technology, using Tundra’s Tsi578(TM) switch to cluster four Freescale MSC8144 multi-core DSPs in an AMC single-width form factor. Tundra and Freescale created the solution to address interconnect bandwidth requirements of up to 10 Gbps between on-board components in key applications such as wireless base stations, radio network controllers, media gateways, video conferencing and radar signal processing. These processing-intensive applications require high-performance DSPs and the high throughput, low latency characteristics of a RapidIO solution.

The Tsi578 switch is well suited to interconnect multiple Freescale MSC8144 multi-core DSPs on a single channel card, enabling an advanced solution that allows base station and media gateway manufacturers to achieve optimal performance while spanning a wide range of air interfaces. Interoperability between the two products has already been tested in Tundra labs and leveraged for the development platform.

“The MSC8144 and Tsi578 deliver a combined solution that is well suited to address the challenges that manufacturers of high capacity infrastructure equipment face today,” said Jeff Timbs, marketing director for Freescale’s Networking Systems Division. “This reference design should prove to be a very attractive option for customers seeking high-performance solutions for communications infrastructure applications such as AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA.”

Tundra’s Tsi578 enables low latency RapidIO interconnect capabilities at up to 10 Gbps, thereby supporting the bandwidth-per-link requirements of key applications. Freescale’s MSC8144 multi-core DSP offers up to 10 Gbps per sRIO port. Customers can take advantage of the benefits of this platform in standalone mode within MicroTCA and ATCA systems, or alongside Tundra’s recently announced Tsi578 Serial RapidIO Development Platform.

Tundra’s Tsi578 has successfully passed interoperability testing to DIL-3 certification by RIOLAB, the world’s only independent Serial RapidIO testing facility. Additionally, Tundra and Freescale have proven RapidIO connectivity between Tundra’s Tsi578 and Freescale’s MSC8144 across physical, logical and transport layers.

“The Tundra/Freescale solution offers the aggregate processing power to implement 3G LTE, WiMAX and TD-SCDMA baseband as well as high density gateway applications,” said Daniel Hoste, president and chief executive officer, Tundra Semiconductor. “With the solution, system OEMs can maximize subscribers per line card, while doing processing-intensive applications such as OFDM Phy processing, and multi-channel video and voice compression. Leveraging Serial RapidIO interconnect for both chip-to-chip as well as backplane interconnect, wireless and wireline infrastructure designs can now take full advantage of the bandwidth processing capability of Freescale’s high performance DSP clusters enabled by Tundra’s Tsi578 switch.”

The MSC8144 takes single-chip DSP integration to a new level of sophistication, combining four StarCore(R) DSP cores at up to 1GHz each and delivering the industry’s highest performance, equivalent to a 4GHz single-core DSP. The device integrates a large embedded memory, enabling higher throughput to memories than external DDR while reducing chip count and BOM. The part leverages dual RISC QUICCEngine technology at 400MHz to offload networking protocols, and it offers high speed interfaces such as the x4 Serial RapidIO and dual SGMII Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

In February 2006, Tundra launched the Tsi578 Serial RapidIO Switch with multicast capability, responding to designers’ requirements for low interconnect processing overhead, lowest power consumption, minimum latency as well as board layout with high signal integrity. The Tsi578 supports the 1.3 RapidIO specification, and its broad feature set includes hardware multicast, supervised traffic flow for increased performance and fabric management, field-proven port flexibility which supports mixed port widths at up to 10 Gbps data speeds, and enhanced SerDes for the lowest power switch solution available.

Tundra at Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Florida June 25 – 28, 2007
Tundra will exhibit and demonstrate its comprehensive line of System Interconnect products at the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Florida June 25-28. Tundra’s Chief Technology Officer, Benny Chang, will participate in a panel discussion titled “Trends in High Speed Interconnects” on Wednesday, June 27.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

About Tundra
Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (TSX:TUN) supplies the world’s leading communications, computing and storage companies with smart System Interconnect products and design services backed by world-class customer service and technical support. Tundra’s track record of product leadership includes over a decade of bridges and switches enabling key industry standards: RapidIO(R), PCI, PCI-X, PCI Express(R), PowerPC(R), VME, HyperTransport(TM), Interlaken, and SPI4.2. Tundra’s products deliver high functional quality and simplified board design and layout, with specific focus on system level signal integrity. Tundra’s design services division, Silicon Logic Engineering, Inc., offers industry-leading ASIC and FPGA design services, semiconductor intellectual property and product development consulting. Tundra’s smart technology connects critical components in high performance embedded systems around the world.

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. TUNDRA is a registered trademark of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (Canada, U.S. and U.K.). TUNDRA and the Tundra logo are registered marks of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation (Canada – registration in the United States, European Union, and People’s Republic of China pending). Tsi578, Tsi576, Tsi574, Tsi568A, Tsi564A and Design.Connect.Go. are trademarks of Tundra Semiconductor Corporation. RapidIO is a registered trademark of the RapidIO Trade Association.