Freescale releases ONT SoC

APRIL 2, 2007 By Stephen Hardy � Freescale Semiconductor has released the MSC7120, a GPON SoC for optical network terminals (ONTs). Alcatel-Lucent is already using the chip in field trials.

APRIL 2, 2007 By Stephen Hardy � Freescale Semiconductor (search for Freescale) has released the MSC7120, a GPON SoC for optical network terminals (ONTs). Alcatel-Lucent (search for Alcatel-Lucent) is already using the chip in field trials, according to Freescale sources. The company also announced a reference design using the chip.

The multi-core MSC7120 integrates a Power Architecture CPU, a 178-MHz StarCore DSP for VoIP processing, and a data path engine to deliver a complete PON subsystem in a single device. According to Suhail Agwani, marketing manager at Freescale for the broadband CPE portfolio, the dual-core SoC offers 2X MIPS at a power dissipation of 2 W.

The device also features 48 GPIOs for flexibility, a DDR and DDR2 memory controller, dual Gigabit Ethernet MACs that support RGMII, and a relaxed jitter, non-SONET oscillator to reduce crystal cost. It comes in a 456-pin thermally enhanced PBGA package that requires no external heat sinks.

The MSC7120 delivers 8.5-Gbit/sec peak I/O throughput. The device supports the G.984 GPON GEM protocol and is designed to be compliant with the ITU-T standards.

Freescale and Alcatel-Lucent collaborated on the device, which the latter has used in field trials in Europe and Kuwait, Agwani says. Freescale does have other alpha customers, he asserts. Agwani says that the new chip is the first voice-enabled ONT SoC on the market.

Development tools, hardware platforms, software building blocks, and application-specific software for the MSC7120 are available. The software includes real-time operating system support for the StarCore DSP and Power Architecture cores and a variety of applications software including DSP voice framework, signaling stacks, and GPON software stacks.

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