TI's New Keystone Multicore Socs Revitalise Cloud Applications

14th November 2012
Posted By : Nat Bowers
TI's New Keystone Multicore Socs Revitalise Cloud Applications

To most technologists, cloud computing is about applications, servers, storage and connectivity. To Texas Instruments Incorporated it means much more. Today, TI is unveiling a BETTER way to cloud with six new multicore System-on-Chips (SoCs).

Based on its award winning KeyStone architecture, TI’s SoCs are designed to revitalize cloud computing, inject new verve and excitement into pivotal infrastructure systems and, despite their feature rich specifications and superior performance, actually reduce energy consumption.

To TI, a BETTER way to cloud means:

• Safer communities thanks to enhanced weather modeling;
• Higher returns from time sensitive financial analysis;
• Improved productivity and safety in energy exploration;
• Faster commuting on safer highways in safer cars;
• Exceptional video on any screen, anywhere, any time;
• More productive and environmentally friendly factories; and
• An overall reduction in energy consumption for a greener planet.

TI’s new KeyStone multicore SoCs are enabling this – and much more. These 28-nm devices integrate TI’s fixed-and floating-point TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) generation cores – yielding the best performance per watt ratio in the DSP industry – with multiple ARM® Cortex™-A15 MPCore™ processors – delivering unprecedented processing capability combined with low power consumption – facilitating the development of a wide-range of infrastructure applications that can enable more efficient cloud experiences. The unique combination of Cortex-A15 processors and C66x DSP cores, with built-in packet processing and Ethernet switching, is designed to efficiently offload and enhance the cloud’s first generation general purpose servers; servers that struggle with big data applications like high performance computing and video processing.

“Using multicore DSPs in a cloud environment enables significant performance and operational advantages with accelerated compute intensive cloud applications,” said Rob Sherrard, VP of Service Delivery, Nimbix. “When selecting DSP technology for our accelerated cloud compute environment, TI’s KeyStone multicore SoCs were the obvious choice. TI’s multicore software enables easy integration for a variety of high performance cloud workloads like video, imaging, analytics and computing and we look forward to working with TI to help bring significant OPEX savings to high performance compute users.”

TI’s six new high-performance SoCs include the 66AK2E02, 66AK2E05, 66AK2H06, 66AK2H12, AM5K2E02 and AM5K2E04, all based on the KeyStone multicore architecture. With KeyStone’s low latency high bandwidth multicore shared memory controller (MSMC), these new SoCs yield 50 percent higher memory throughput when compared to other RISC-based SoCs. Together, these processing elements, with the integration of security processing, networking and switching, reduce system cost and power consumption, allowing developers to support the development of more cost-efficient, green applications and workloads, including high performance computing, video delivery and media and image processing. With the matchless combination TI has integrated into its newest multicore SoCs, developers of media and image processing applications will also create highly dense media solutions.

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“Visionary and innovative are two words that come to mind when working with TI’s KeyStone devices,” said Joe Ye, CEO, CyWee. “Our goal is to offer solutions that merge the digital and physical worlds, and with TI’s new SoCs we are one step closer to making this a reality by pushing state-of-the-art video to virtualized server environments. Our collaboration with TI should enable developers to deliver richer multimedia experiences in a variety of cloud-based markets, including cloud gaming, virtual office, video conferencing and remote education.”

Simplified development with complete tools and support

TI continues to ease development with its scalable KeyStone architecture, comprehensive software platform and low-cost tools. In the past two years, TI has developed over 20 software compatible multicore devices, including variations of DSP-based solutions, ARM-based solutions and hybrid solutions with both DSP and ARM-based processing, all based on two generations of the KeyStone architecture. With compatible platforms across TI’s multicore DSPs and SoCs, customers can more easily design integrated, power and cost-efficient products for high-performance markets from a range of devices, starting at just $30 and operating at a clock rate of 850MHz all the way to 15GHz of total processing power.

TI is also making it easier for developers to quickly get started with its KeyStone multicore solutions by offering easy-to-use, evaluation modules (EVMs) for less than $1K, reducing developers’ programming burdens and speeding development time with a robust ecosystem of multicore tools and software.

In addition, TI’s Design Network features a worldwide community of respected and well established companies offering products and services that support TI multicore solutions. Companies offering supporting solutions to TI’s newest KeyStone-based multicore SoCs include 3L Ltd., 6WIND, Advantech, Aricent, Azcom Technology, Canonical, CriticalBlue Enea, Ittiam Systems, Mentor Graphics, mimoOn, Nash Technologies, PolyCore Software and Wind River.

Availability and pricing
TI’s 66AK2Hx SoCs are currently available for sampling, with broader device availability in 1Q13 and EVM availability in 2Q13. AM5K2Ex and 66AK2Ex samples and EVMs will be available in the second half of 2013. Pricing for these devices will start at $49 for 1 KU.

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