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Security appliance taps 12-core QorIQ PowerPC SOC

May 15, 2013 — by Eric Brown 1,720 views

Nexcom announced a network security appliance with Unified Threat Management (UTM) services based on Freescale’s new 12-core, 1.8GHz QorIQ T4240 system-on-chip (SOC). The NSA 5640 is equipped with up to 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 2GB NAND flash, mini-PCI Express expansion, eight gigabit Ethernet ports, optional 4-port 10GbE connectivity, and PowerPC Linux support.

The NSA 5640 offers UTM services to address sophisticated Internet-based attacks, responding to unauthorized traffic, malicious activities, spam, and malware, says Nexcom. The company’s other NSA-branded networking appliances use Intel Xeon and Core processors.

NSA 5640 security appliance (front and back)


The Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) Series QorIQ T4240 SOC is Freescale’s most powerful Power Architecture processor, advancing to 28nm fabrication and 64-bit e6500 PowerPC cores. The e6500’s memory subsystem differs from the earlier e5500 core, combining cores in up to eight quad-core CPU clusters, each of which shares 2MB of L2 cache.


Freescale QorIQ T4240 block diagram
(click to enlarge)


The QorIQ T4240 offers 12 cores clocked to 1.8GHz, enabling 24 virtual cores via multithreading. The SOC also provides Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) packet handling technology, including queue-, buffer- and frame managers, a RapidIO message manager for high-speed serial interconnects, and hardware accelerators for SEC cryptography, PME expression scanning, and DCE compression.

The NSA 5640 is equipped with up to 6GB of DDR3 memory, 128MB NOR flash, and 2GB of NAND flash. Expansion capabilities include a front-facing SD slot, SATA hard disk drive (HDD) bay, and both mini-PCI Express (PCIe) and PCIe connectors. The eight copper gigabit Ethernet ports can be extended with an optional 4-port SFP+/10GBase-T (10 gigabit Ethernet) module. USB and serial ports are also provided.

A spokesperson confirmed the availability of a Linux SDK. In addition, Nexcom provides board support packages (BSPs), customized operating systems, and technical support for application software integration.

Specifications listed for the NSA 5640 include:

  • Processor — Freescale QorIQ T4240 (12x e6500 Power cores @ 1.8GHz)
  • Memory:
    • up to 6GB DDR3 RAM via 3x DIMMs
    • 128MB 16-bit NOR flash
    • 2GB SLC NAND flash
    • 2 Kbit 24C02 I2C EPPROM
  • Storage — SD slot; 2.5-inch HDD bay
  • Expansion — mini-PCIe x1; PCIe x8
  • Networking — 8x gigabit Ethernet ports; optional 4-port SFP+ 10GbE
  • Other I/O — 2x USB 2.0 ports; RJ45 Console
  • Other features — LED, reset,
  • Power — ATX supply, 300W
  • Dimensions — 426 x 300 x 44mm
  • Operating system — Linux Kernel 3.0.51 — rt75

No pricing or availability information was supplied for the NSA 5640. More information may be found at Nexcom’s NSA 5640 product page.

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