Freescale Semiconductor has disclosed initial details regarding the next generation of its successful QorIQ multicore processor portfolio, today announcing it will drive innovation for the secure Internet of Tomorrow (IoT) on highly advanced 16nm FinFET process technology.
The move to 16nm FinFET is expected to enable next-generation QorIQ processors to deliver 2x performance gains within the same power envelope relative to 28nm products. Freescale has already performed extensive evaluation and testing on 16nm FinFET, and is now applying its findings to next-node implementations of cores, hardware accelerators, interconnect fabrics and other IP.
At this node, Freescale will maintain its focus on extending its leadership in standard product communications processor families, while also unleashing the breadth of its extensive IP portfolio with complementary new go-to-market engagement models, including the development of innovative semi-custom designs in tight alignment with select strategic customers.
“The world’s networks are moving and changing faster than ever before, driven by the convergence of extreme virtualization, software-centric network topologies, continued expansion of the IoT, and growing demand for increased, flexible intelligence at the network’s edge,” said Tom Deitrich, SVP and GM of Freescale’s Digital Networking group. “This new paradigm favors silicon providers like Freescale with advanced process technology, deep bonds with the world’s leading equipment OEMs, and the breadth of critical IP like software, advanced acceleration engines and optimized compute densities ideally suited to drive the Internet of Tomorrow.”
To help its deep roster of top networking OEM customers differentiate and thrive in this new environment, Freescale plans to exploit the full value of its 16nm FinFET IP to create innovative, semi-custom designs engineered to meet the dynamic requirements of highly virtualized networks. Customers can mix and match Freescale IP alongside their own proprietary IP to offer the most differentiated solution in their market space. Aligning in this manner with strategic customers is expected to optimize efficiencies, speed time-to-market and foster closer customer cooperation in the development of next-generation solutions. For Freescale, these kinds of new engagement models can enable optimized R&D investment and synergistic roadmap alignment.
Providing the building blocks for innovation at 16nm
To meet the demands of tomorrow’s networks, Freescale will provide lead customers and partners access to a broad spectrum of 16nm building blocks. Freescale maintains one of the broadest and most diverse portfolios of networking IP in the world, including high performance 64-bit cores based on ARM and Power Architecture technology, StarCore DSP cores, highly advanced I/O and acceleration technologies, world-class network security blocks and extensive software solutions – all backed by Freescale’s proven networking systems knowledge and decades of SoC design experience.
Rich ecosystem and complete enablement
The Freescale 16nm platform will be supported by a comprehensive ecosystem providing ease-of-use support for its QorIQ processors, supplemented with operating systems and BSPs from its partner network. The CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and an optimized and compliance tested Layer-1 software components library for FDD & TDD LTE/LTE-A processing chains will enable rapid customer LTE L1 software development. Communications targeted Linux SDKs including low latency Layer 2 support will also be offered. Freescale supports Linaro and OpenDataPath (ODP) APIs and management software for easy setup, initialization and teardown of interfaces, accelerators and networking functions. For fast time to market, performance-optimized functional datapath libraries, Freescale VortiQa software solutions and a selection of development tools and open-source software are planned. Software services are offered enabling customers to leverage Freescale’s systems expertise for specifically targeted deliverables.
Initial 16nm FinFET SoC product sampling is expected in mid-2016.