AMCC Arches Reference Design Kit

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (NASDAQ:AMCC) recently announced the Arches dual-processor reference design kit for its Power Architecture 460GT processor. The Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) industry-standard solution supports systems based on Serial RapidIO(tm) (AMC.4), Gigabit Ethernet (AMC.2), and PCI Express (AMC.1) interconnects. AMCC’s Arches dual-processor PowerPC 460GT reference design kit will be available this monty. The suggested distributor resale price for each kit is $2995.

AMCC’s new reference design kit provides users with a comprehensive set of resources including a custom-designed AMC form factor, industry-standard, software development tools, open-source middleware for inter-process communications, a leading RapidIO network management and diagnostic tool, system-level benchmarks, and complete hardware/software design package.

The Arches kit allows customers first to evaluate the PowerPC® 460GT processor in an ATCA® environment and then to use the turnkey hardware/software design as a starting-point for developing their own product, adding as much or as little custom design as appropriate for their product goals.

The Arches card, conforming to the standard single width mid-size AMC form factor (180mm x 74mm x 17mm), is a solution developed for AMCC by Silicon Turnkey Express. The card design includes dual AMCC PowerPC 460GT processors, each operating at a clock frequency of 1.0GHz. Other hardware features include 1GByte of DDR2 SDRAM, 128MBytes of NOR Flash, 1GByte Micro-SD flash, two serial ports on the front panel, two 10/100/1G Ethernet ports on the front panel, four 10/100/1G Ethernet ports on the AMC connector, x1/x4 Serial RapidIO port on AMC connector, x1/x4 Serial RapidIO/PCI-Express port on AMC connector, a shared JTAG® connector, and two trace connectors. The flash image includes Linux® 2.6 kernel and U-Boot boot firmware, both provided by Denx, along with a file system that incorporates the RapidFET configuration software as well as the LINX® (open source) inter-process communications (IPC) framework, plus a range of AMCC-developed sample applications, benchmarks and utilities.

The Resource CD included in the kits contains industry-standard benchmarks for use in processor performance analysis, such as TTCP, DBench, HINT®, STREAM and MPEG-4. These benchmarks allow customers to perform a detailed analysis of the processor’s performance using standard metrics without having to acquire and configure the benchmarks themselves. Also included is a custom security benchmarking environment that measures the performance of the on-chip security engine on standard security algorithms. Once customers progress to the software development phase and before their own target hardware (prototype board) is available, the Resource CD offers a wide range of sample applications that can be used as a starting point for customers’ software applications, as well as various utilities to aid in system configuration.

The sample applications include a web server, telnet server, FTP server and an example game, while the utilities provide a detailed configuration report on the board as well as utilities for setting the IP address and MAC ID.

The new Arches reference design kit complements AMCC’s twelve previously-introduced, easy-to-use evaluation kits, including (in the case of the PowerPC 460GT) the Glacier 460GT evaluation kit. AMCC’s extensive range of PowerPC evaluation kits is based on clear objectives to provide customers with easy-to-use platforms for processor evaluation and software development. Each of the kits can be set up quickly, facilitated by a clear, step-by-step Getting Started guide and user-friendly configuration software. The dual-PowerPC 460GT reference design kit is based on the same user-friendly concepts as the rest of the family, while adding new system-level solutions to further enhance customers’ experiences.

More information: AMCC