Our partners at Broadcom are on a roll. After announcing a range of new MIPS-based products for the connected home at COMPUTEX 2013, they are now pushing the envelope in high-end communications processing with the new XLP900 Series, a range of CPUs optimized for deployment of network functions, with advanced features like hardware quad-multithreading, virtualization and deep packet inspection (DPI).

Targeting a new class of systems that offer speed, quality of service (QoS), security and power efficiency, the Broadcom XLP900 Series is hands-down one of the most powerful communications processor in the market, with an architecture that meets and exceeds the performance needs of next gen-enterprise and carrier equipment.

Blink and you’ll miss it: Broadcom’s XLP900 Series processors deliver over 1 Tbps!

One look over its specifications and excitement quickly starts to kick in. The Broadcom XLP900 Serries CPUs offer full end-to-end hardware virtualization support thanks to the latest revision of our MIPS64 architecture, together with I/Os, hardware accelerators and on-chip interconnects. This enables Broadcom to support hundreds of virtual machines (VMs), with protected memory, resources and I/Os, making it ideal for network providers looking for a secure and flexible solution.

Broadcom xlp900 seriesBroadcom’s XLP900 Series of processors for service provider, data center and enterprise networks

The first member of the XLP900 Series is Broadcom’s multicore XLP980 CPU. It is the first processor to integrate 40G Ethernet ports and has a superscalar, quad-issue, CPU pipeline with out-of-order execution tuned for high single thread performance.

As mobile traffic continues to grow exponentially, traditional servers are becoming increasingly complex and power hungry. By using our inherently low power MIPS64 and MIPS32 architectures, Broadcom is able to address a wide range of markets, including carrier infrastructure, consumer electronics, data centers, home and embedded processing or enterprise networking.

MIPS64: Building on 20 years of 64-bit CPU IP experience

A lot of exciting things were happening in the semiconductor world in 1991. The first website was being built at the CERN labs, Linus Torvalds was putting the final touches on the first Linux kernel while Apple was preparing for the release of its first notebook line-up, the PowerBook. 32-bit RISC and CISC architectures were battling it out for supremacy in the PC world, the affordable smartphone was a distant dream and it was a full ten years before Intel or AMD had introduced the first 64-bit x86 based platform.

1991 was also an important milestone for the MIPS architecture. On October 1st, 1991 Toshiba announced the R4000, one of the world’s first 64-bit microprocessors and the first MIPS III 64-bit implementation. Toshiba R4000 was selected to be the microprocessor of the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE), an industry standard that intended to define a common RISC platform.

Toshiba R4400 MIPS64Full die shot of Toshiba’s 64-bit R4400 MIPS-based microprocessor launched in November 1992*

Toshiba’s R4000 and its successor, the R4400, opened the door for the MIPS architecture to find success in the workstation and server markets and since then, the MIPS64 architecture has been used in a variety of applications including game consoles, office automation and set-top boxes. It maintains a growing popularity today in networking and telecommunications infrastructure applications, as proven by Broadcom’s ability to deliver the impressive and complex XLP900 Series.

The MIPS64 architecture provides all the building blocks for high-performance, low power 64-bit processors by offering powerful features like hardware virtualization, advanced SIMD, and standardized privileged mode instructions. Furthermore, it is backward compatible with past ISAs (including MIPS32), and provides a seamless transition from our 32-bit MIPS32 architecture with common toolchains and similar programming models.

Broadcom xlp900 series networkingBroadcom’s new XLP900 Series processors can compute more than 1 trillion operations per second

This enables partners like Broadcom to ship ultra-high performance, scalable designs that are tuned for hardware efficiency and data throughput. If you want to know more about Broadcom’s MIPS64-based CPUs, head over to their website and check out their single core and multicore range of processors for carrier and service providers, home and enterprise networking or data centers.

To stay up to date with the exciting developments of our MIPS architecture and roadmap, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR and @MIPSGuru) and keep coming back to our blog.


*Image courtesy of CPU World, all rights reserved.