Market demand for gigahertz performance from embedded processors is accelerating even as consumer and regulatory requirements for “green” products featuring maximal energy efficiency grow more stringent. To help manufacturers succeed in this environment, Freescale introduces the MPC8536E PowerQUICC III processor – one of the industry’s most energy-efficient gigahertz class embedded SoC devices.
The advanced power and energy management features of the MPC8536E tackle next-generation embedded media processing while enabling designers to address environmental and energy specifications. For instance, printers and other office automation equipment must demonstrate certain environmental benefits and energy usage efficiencies in order to qualify for the ENERGY STAR program. The advanced power management features of the MPC8536E address this challenge by pacing energy usage according to the required workload, thus enabling OEMs to significantly decrease energy usage for their end products.
The MPC8536E processor implements sophisticated features such as Freescale’s JOG technology, which lowers power consumption by dynamically changing the CPU frequency. The combination of JOG, together with a fast run mode and rapid recovery from packet-lossless deep sleep creates one of the industry’s first embedded energy-to-workload pacing usage models.
“The MPC8536E delivers outstanding levels of performance while using less energy to provide optimal levels of service,” said Nikolay Guenov, portfolio manager for Freescale’s Networking Systems Division. “The innovative power efficiency capabilities of this device, together with the PowerQUICC hallmark of exceptional integration and embedded performance, make the MPC8536E an obvious choice for markets where performance, integration and energy efficiency are essential.”
The device delivers up to 1.5 GHz of performance for applications requiring fast processing of rich media content. Target applications for the MPC8536E include advanced multifunction printers (MFPs), home media server and point-of-sale displays, network attached storage (NAS) devices, as well as enterprise networking and storage equipment.
“Energy savings is an increasingly important issue for manufacturers of embedded electronics and online equipment with cyclical workloads such as printers and office equipment,” said Keith Kmetz, vice president of Hardcopy Peripherals Solutions and Services for IDC. “Freescale’s MPC8536E PowerQUICC III processor uses an innovative approach to allow designers to create flexible systems that pace workload with energy consumption in an intelligent and efficient manner. The result is a high performance media processor that helps OEMs meet environmental and energy performance specifications.”
The MPC8536E is built on Freescale’s superscalar e500 CPU core, based on Power Architecture[tm] technology, and carries forward software compatible with the recently announced QorIQ[tm] communications platforms. Freescale’s QorIQ P2 platform series is expected to offer a migration path from the MPC8536E to multicore solutions.
Innovative energy-pacing model
The MPC8536E allows designers to power off areas of the device when not in use, while leveraging these states to more efficiently match work accomplished with the correct level of energy consumed. The combination of the following features allows the MPC8536E to pace energy usage according to the required valued workload:
- High performance gigahertz processing for heaviest workload periods
- Core frequency change to reduce dynamic power consumption during light workload periods while CPU processing is required
- Deep sleep mode splits power plane to turn off VDD to high power fast transistor in the core and cache, allowing for fast recovery to operational state without system re-booting
- Advanced Ethernet packet filtering during deep sleep for packet-lossless deep sleep
The MPC8536E is a Freescale Energy Efficient Solutions product, which means it is designed to offer customers assurance that Freescale has employed the right combination of technologies and techniques to achieve optimal energy savings as relevant to a particular application space. The mark stands for Freescale’s technology expertise in delivering products optimized for high performance within the constrained energy and power budgets of embedded environments.
System-level cost and space savings
Along with advanced power management, the MPC8536E processor integrates key system-level peripherals to enhance performance and reduce total system chip count. Designers save system costs through reduced total system chip count, a small board footprint and cost effective six-layer PCBs.
The MPC8536E includes high-speed interconnect technology to balance processor performance with I/O system throughput. It is engineered to achieve clock speeds scaling from 600 MHz, with headroom for 1.5 GHz. The MPC8536E also integrates 512 KB L2 cache, a security engine, a memory controller with support for 64-bit DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM, 32-bit PCI, multiple PCI Express® interfaces, enhanced local bus I/O interfaces, triple USB, dual SATA, SD/MMC and two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. It also provides support for legacy PowerQUICC III interfaces such as PCI, I2C, dual universal asynchronous receiver/transmitters (DUART) and local bus connections.
Development and design resource ecosystem
PowerQUICC MPC8536E designs are enabled by a rich ecosystem of development and design resources. An MPC8536DS development system is available now, and a cost effective MPC8536RDK reference system in the COM Express form factor is planned for availability in Q4, 2008.
MPC8536E samples are available now.
Freescale at TechInsights Embedded Power Conference
Freescale will outline strategies for creating energy-efficient system-level solutions based on the MPC8536E at next week’s TechInsights Embedded Power Conference in San Jose, Calif. The Embedded Power Conference features presentations from a host of renowned experts on embedded power management issues.
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 2007 sales of $5.7 billion (USD).
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