Update: Cadence Completes Acquisition of Tensilica (Apr 24, 2013)
Highly Optimized TOE Speeds the Throughput of IP-Based Storage Systems
Santa Clara, Calif., May 12, 2003 – Tensilica®, Inc., the leading provider of configurable and extensible processors, today announced that NEC Corporation has developed its first TCP Offload Engine (TOE) integrating 10 Xtensa® processor cores on a single chip. NEC's TOE (TCP offload engine) chip, also announced and made available today by NEC, has been designed to speed the throughput of storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) systems.
"The market shift toward Ethernet-over-IP and iSCSI as the preferred transmission protocols for storage systems is putting new demands on server and storage subsystem designs," said Mr. Hirooto Ono, Engineering Manager, System File Products Division, NEC Corporation. "A general-purpose CPU – even a monolithic IC running at several GHz – does not have the necessary horsepower. So application-specific TCP/IP offload engines are required. However, designing a multi-million-gate ASIC completely from hardwired state machines for such a diverse protocol as TCP/IP is a monstrous challenge. Tensilica's Xtensa core offered us a superior design alternative – the benefits of a programmable, processor-based solution with the performance of a dedicated, rigid logic solution. By designing the TOE processor around 10 Xtensa processors optimized with storage networking specific instructions of our own design, our device is both highly optimized and programmable."
"Having established itself as a premier supplier of both high-performance networking chips and equipment, NEC brings a well-rounded perspective to the design of advanced storage SOCs," said Bernie Rosenthal, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Tensilica, Inc. "By using our automated process to generate Xtensa cores matched exactly to each part of the application, NEC achieved the performance this product required. Additionally, they were able to create this chip with significantly reduced engineering resources and design time."
About the TOE Chip
NEC's new TOE chip handles many of the basic functions required to terminate a TCP connection including classification, search, management, configuration and processing. One Xtensa core is configured for control management; another core is tasked with dispatching, and the eight remaining Xtensa cores take care of TCP and UDP protocol processing tasks in parallel.
Starting with the Xtensa processor's base instruction set, NEC added storage-networking-specific instructions, using the Tensilica Instruction Extension (TIE) language to create an even more optimized instruction set that performs powerful compute-centric acceleration in very few cycles.
About Tensilica's Xtensa Architecture
Xtensa continues to be the only configurable and extensible processor with comprehensive and automatic software, modeling and EDA support. Changes made by the designer to extend the Xtensa processor hardware – adding instructions, registers, processor state and custom execution units - are immediately and automatically reflected in the entire software tool chain, significantly reducing design complexity and time-to-market.
Using the Tensilica Instruction Extension (TIE) Language, customers are able to add an unlimited number of user-defined instructions to the processor. Tensilica's processor generator technology creates a complete, correct-by-construction processor solution – hardware, software environment, modeling and EDA tools – in just over an hour. Each core can be optimized for virtually any application. This has made the Xtensa platform an attractive alternative to custom logic blocks, which were traditionally designed to accompany off-the-shelf, hard-wired processor cores in order to optimize the SOC for the target application.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation (NASDAQ: NIPNY) (FTSE: 6701q.l) (TYSE: 6701). NEC is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its diverse and global base of customers. Ranked as one of the world's top patent-producing companies, NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide and had net sales of approximately $39 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2003. For additional information, please visit the NEC home page at: http://www.nec.com
Tensilica was founded in July 1997 to address the growing need for optimized, application-specific microprocessor solutions in high-volume embedded applications. With a configurable and extensible microprocessor core called Xtensa, Tensilica is the only company that has automated and patented the time-consuming process of generating a customized microprocessor core along with a complete software development tool environment, producing new configurations in a matter of hours. For more information, visit www.tensilica.com.
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- "Tensilica" and "Xtensa" are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
- Tensilica's announced licensees are Agilent, Astute Networks, Avision, Bay Microsystems, Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Conexant Systems, Cypress, ETRI, FUJIFILM Microdevices, Fujitsu Ltd., Hudson Soft, Hughes Network Systems, IC4IC, Ikanos Communications, JNI Corporation, Marvell, Mindspeed Technologies, National Semiconductor, NEC Networks, NEC Solutions, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., ONEX Communications, OptiX Networks, Osaka & Kyoto Universities, S2io, Sony, TranSwitch Corporation, Trebia Networks, Victor Company of Japan (JVC) and ZiLOG.