Airoha Technology, a premier IC design house with more than 20 years of experience in networks and communication, announced the world’s first ever 10G-PON SoC that adopts a heterogeneous computing architecture combining a 4-core ARM CPU with an 8-core RISC-V multi-function Network Processor Unit (NPU) and a Smart Packet Accelerator (SPA). This ground-breaking new product, coded as AN7581, boasts a most open design and delivers highest flexibility and extensibility for broadband Optical Network Unit (ONU) and Customer Premise Equipment (CPE).

The NPU adopted in the AN7581 is based on an open-source architecture, which can help to offload CPU flexibly and free up computing resource for fixed broadband network operators to develop value-added services. In addition, integrated with a SPA that processes data at a speed up to 30 gigabits per second, AN7581 is able to satisfy speed requirements of any types of networks and becomes the world’s first and only SoC that provides all-inclusive support for Wide Area Network (WAN), Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) and reaches the highest speed level of Wi-Fi 7 for WLAN, making it a versatile platform that can accommodate a great variety of services with drastically simplified deployment and reduced cost in the following operation & maintenance.

Openness: Hugging RISC-V for building the first "golden triangle" architecture for 10G-PON

With its deep expertise in fixed network, Airoha Technology designed the multiple-function NPU based on open standards delivering highest flexibility. Over the past decades, many industries have gained success and benefits in transiting from a proprietary architecture to open standards. The RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), based on open collaboration and shared technical investment, is now the 3rd largest ISA in the market, and is becoming one of the new mainstreams in processors. The fixed line broadband industry now is facing the need for wider bandwidth to bring more innovative applications and the need to migrate from traditional infrastructure to fiber-optical architecture. Accordingly, it is also imperative and inevitable now for the broadband operators to adopt an open technical framework to lay the foundation for their long-term competitiveness.

The whole new AN7581 series SoC is designed to deliver both flexibility and performance. In addition to a 4-core CPU based on ARM architecture, an 8-core multi-function NPU based on RISC-V open platform is tactically employed to reduce CPU load and achieve unparalleled performance and flexibility in computing and data transmission.

High flexibility & extensibility: top specs prepared for value-added software & applications

The multi-function NPU of AN7581 will start to divert data to itself and offload CPU upon extreme Wi-Fi speed and enormous data transmission volume, so that more CPU resource can be freed up for value-added applications. AIROHA AN7581 supports new generation software platforms and applications by providing SDKs for developing OpenWrt, Linux, RDK-B and prpIOS frameworks, TR-143/369/471 protocols for remote telecom CPE management and BBF.247 conformity for interoperability; it even has prepared for future prpIMesh integration. With this flexible and extensible architecture, network operators can tap great value from their services and applications for now and in the future.

In addition, AIROHA AN7581 embedded Smart Packet Accelerator that can process data up to 30 Gbps Layer 7 (Application Layer) throughput. More notable, AN7581 provides premium I/O deployment, supporting Wi-Fi from Wi-Fi 6 4x4/2x2 dual-band up to the fastest Wi-Fi 7/6E 4x4 tri-band, and offering up to 4 x 10 Gbps or 5 x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports—all with a single chip.

The era for "all-in-one" model is coming to ease fiber broadband deployment

The appearance of AN7581 breaks new ground for ONU/CPE hardware developments, which will eradicate the legacy problems of slow broadband deployments, as the new SoC not only provides a versatile platform for satisfying diverse needs in I/O, bandwidth, and applications, it also helps to simplify hardware and maintenance. Traditionally, the operators needed to deploy and maintain a great variety of ONU/CPE models and units, which often resulted in complicate service deployment and equipment maintenance as well as inventory pressure of stockpiled machines and spares. Now AIROHA AN7581 is set to usher in all-in-one designs of ONU/CPE machines, reduce engineering effort for maintenance, and simplify staff training, thus helping to drastically reduce costs in deployment and maintenance for operators. The product is a perfect example of AIROHA’s premium engineering culture and design thinking that always put customers first. AIROHA is committed to becoming a best cooperative partner of our operator customers in their process of migrating from traditional practices to fiber optical business models.

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