Mindspeed has unveiled Comcerto C2000, a communications processor family based on the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and available in single and dual core versions.
According to Rupert Baines, Mindspeed's vp of corporate strategy and marketing communication, most comms processors are either MIPS based or feature a PowerPC core. "But the MIPS core is running out of power," he said. "We are using the Cortex-A9 at 1.2GHz to address the needs of very high speed networking applications. And the device will also be used towards the edge of the network as processing requirements increase." One potential application is routing at the edge of the network. Baines said an 802.11ac based network will handle hundreds of Mbit/s. "Traditional approaches won't cope with the necessary routing and security requirements," he claimed. The first two devices in the series, the Comcerto C2100 and C2200, include Mindspeed's OPAL (Open Pack Acceleration Logic) engine, a collection of fully programmable wire speed network accelerators. The company says that through intelligent offloading, the range supports wire rate IPv6 NAT and firewall applications without using the ARM Cortex processors, keeping them fully available to run value added applications from OEMs or service providers.