Makers of switches, routers, media gateways and base station
controllers are already finding software development support for an eight-core microprocessor
that's not scheduled to begin sampling until 2009.
Green Hills Software, Inc., MontaVista Software, Inc., and Wind River Systems, Inc. are all working
on development tools with Freescale
Semiconductor prior to the rollout of its QorIQ
P4080 eight-core communications processor. Freescale has also partnered
with simulation software firm Virtutech
to create a first-of-a-kind hybrid simulation environment for the P4080.
pre-announced at the Freescale Technology Forum in June, is designed for
backbone networking and enterprise-level switching and routing. It supports
eight Power Architecture e500mc cores on the same chip and operates at less
than 30W at speeds up to 1.5 GHz. Freescale says it set the wheels in motion
on the new chip because customers in the communications arena were asking for
trying to get the best power, performance and cost and keep it below 30W,
because we know customers have trouble cooling above 30W," says Steve Cole,
senior system architect for Freescale's Network Systems Strategy Office.
visibility into the multi-core environment, Freescale partnered with Virtutech,
which is using its Simics
simulator on the P40480 platform. Prior to the development of silicon, Simics
is enabling developers to partition cores and codes and bring up the operating
system, as well as develop, debug and test software.
Green Hills, meanwhile, has entered a
development agreement to produce advanced debugging tools for the QorIQ. In
June, the company announced availability of a secure, multi-core optimized
networking and routing solution for the QorIQ processor portfolio.
Similarly, Wind River is implementing a pre-silicon software
development solution that is expected to help users migrate existing projects
to the P4080 hardware and MontaVista has unveiled a Linux Support Package to
help users jump-start the development of Linux-based devices on the P4080
eight cores running on this device and programmers need visibility into what's
going on," says Robert Redfield, director of partner business development for
Green Hills. "That's what this is all about."