LSI shows off new PPC based Axxia AXE3500 chip

MWC 2014: A new old PPC product not from IBM?

LSI logoYou might know about the ARM based versions of the LSI Axxia line, but did you know they are still making new PPC based variants? At MWC LSI showed SemiAccurate the latest iteration or that line called Axxia AXE3500.

The AXE3500 chip that LSI handed us at MWC was so fresh out of the oven it was still warm, although that could have been due to the pocket it was pulled from too. It is a 6-core 476FP PPC device that runs at 1.4GHz in top bin form. The one pictured below was an AXE3502-7 meaning two active cores at 1.26GHz and 4MB of L3 cache, the rest of the family is laid out there.

LSI AXE3500 PPC Axxia SoC

The chip in question, or is it the chip in answer

Instead of the CCN-504 bus found on the ARM based Axxia chips, this new version of the older PPC line uses the TL6 interconnects of yore. Actually this isn’t a bad thing because the AXE3500 looks to be a pin compatible upgrade to the older AXE3400s. If the new SoC isn’t meant to plug-in to the old socket with little or no changes, LSI missed a big opportunity.

While there probably won’t be too many greenfield wins for this part, upgrades and expansions of existing deployments alone are a pretty healthy market. Given the complexity of the software stacks deployed on base stations and other core Axxia markets, not to mention current deployments, there is a lot of resistance to changing anything. It looks like LSI is not forgetting about these customers and giving them a path forward, they don’t have to really change any software, they just get more performance with minimal effort. Nothing spectacular from a silicon point of view, just a solid upgrade for current customers.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate