Ubicom Targets Wireless Applications with IP3023 Processor

3/8/2004 - UbicomTM, Inc., a leading provider of wireless network processor and software platforms, announced that its landmark IP3023TM processor has demonstrated performance that is two to three times that of comparably priced MIPS®- and ARM®-based SOCs targeted for use in wireless applications. In addition, its unique real-time architectural approach ensures the highest quality streaming media and the fastest responses for voice and gaming applications. Ubicom’s advanced development environment including simple, intuitive tools, patented network operating system functions, and patent-pending software I/O technology accelerate product delivery.

“As the industry moves to support higher data rates and multifunction applications, it will need a processor with plenty of performance headroom,” said Glenn Schuster, vice president of marketing for Ubicom. “The IP3023 satisfies the demands of even the most performance-intensive wireless applications, without requiring customers to upgrade to a significantly more expensive processor. The inherent real-time nature of our platform, combined with our flexible and sophisticated development environment, makes the IP3023 the ideal choice for OEMs and ODMs building wireless routers, printers, phones, and streaming audio/video equipment.”

Now in volume production, the IP3023 has shown network address translation (NAT) routing performance of over 50 Mbps on typical Internet packet mixes compared with 12 to 22 Mbps from traditional MIPS- and ARM-based processors. These performance levels enable routing at full wireless and very high speed digital subscriber line (VDSL) speeds, better firewall functions, and the addition of key features like print serving, voice, and VPN functions to low-cost routers. As the wireless industry migrates to higher speed radio technologies, the IP3023 provides a seamless upgrade path.

Ubicom’s industry-leading price performance is enabled by a patent-pending architecture designed for real-time tasks and low latency. The IP3023 features an interrupt response time of less than 5 clock cycles in typical applications, while MIPS- and ARM-based SOC solutions running the Linux® operating system require thousands of clock cycles to respond to an interrupt. Additionally, the IP3023 and Ubicom’s ipOSTM network operating system can process packets with half the latency of typical solutions, dramatically improving response times for games, voice, and other interactive applications. As a result, the IP3023 can support multiple clients and functions without suffering the performance degradation that occurs with other platforms.

The IP3023 combines its unprecedented performance with all of the benefits of an innovative and highly flexible architecture to help keep bill of materials (BOM) costs low. The architecture uses patented design techniques to enable the high-performance execution of software I/O – a technique that implements all communications and control functions in software. Software I/O helps to eliminate costly dedicated hardware I/O, which typically comprises up to 75 percent of the SOC’s die area. Additional architectural efficiencies reduce the amount of external memory required by as much as 95 percent, for additional cost savings.

Ubicom’s architecture also gives customers greater flexibility, as well as more opportunity for differentiation. Since many I/O functions are implemented in software, the IP3023 can interface to virtually any vendor’s audio/video codec, while alternative approaches based on general purpose microprocessors require additional hardware or the costly and lengthy redesign of the SOC to support each new codec design. In addition, the company’s innovative operating system and development environment give OEMs and ODMs greater flexibility to differentiate their products with significantly reduced time to market. Most alternative platforms are designed to run Linux – an open source operating system that requires developers to release their source code to the developer community. This means that many of the features and functions built into a product for differentiation ultimately become the property of the industry at large. Ubicom instead makes its source code available to customers, and allows them to build unique features and functions into their products that remain their own intellectual property.

Ubicom’s platform is supported by its UnityTM integrated development environment (IDE) and a suite of GNUPro® development tools which together provide a much more sophisticated approach to development and debug than is currently offered with open source software. A unique configuration tool allows developers to add “check box” features and functions with the click of a button, as well as easily add their own code. Taking advantage of a user-friendly GUI, developers can point and click their way through Ubicom’s powerful library of software modules, adding advanced capabilities to the processor in minutes. Moreover, Ubicom has added hardware debug hooks to every processor to ensure sophisticated and fast debugging.

Pricing and Availability
The IP3023 is housed in a 228 ball grid array (BGA) package and is in production now. The device is priced at $12 in 100,000-unit quantities.

About Ubicom, Inc.
Ubicom, Inc. is making ubiquitous communications a reality, through wireless network processor and software platforms that enable all electronic devices to be connected to each other – securely, cost-effectively and transparently. With headquarters in Mountain View, California, Ubicom also has offices in Belgium, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Ubicom, the Ubicom logo, IP3023, ipOS, and Unity are trademarks of Ubicom, Inc.

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