NAS 7825, Next Generation Multi-functional Networked Storage Solution
Key Benefits
The Evolution of the Consumer Market
Unique Trident architecture including dual-core ARM
11 MP each core running at 750 MHz, application
specific hardware engines for networking, storage,
and security, and highly structured firmware for the
highest performance at the lowest system cost
The digital lifestyle is going through major changes.
More and more people are self-creating, purchasing,
and downloading digital contant (video, photo, and
music) than any time before. This explosion of digital
content demands a fresh approach to consumer
content storage, security, and management.
Enable innovation and rapid market footprint
expansion into new generation of “NAS related”
products such as routers, gateways, PVR/DVR, and
set-top boxes
We are now witnessing the third wave of the
consumer digital revolution. The first wave was the
introduction of the internet into the home. The second
wave was the mainstream adoption of handheld
mobile devices such as smart phones and MP3
players. The third wave is the demand of consumers
to access their content from anywhere, anytime, and
from any device securely and reliably. This requires
fresh thinking into consumer content storage.
Highly optimized for media applications such as
streaming multiple HD videos, music, and photos,
content management, and many more
Security engine for encryption with hashing
functionality for enhanced security
Booting from HDD without Flash for the lower BOM
cost (support of Flash is optional)
Two integrated SATA3G/s ports with RAID0,
RAID1, and JBOD support in hardware
Rich set of interfaces: 2xUSB2.0, UART, JTAG,
2xPCIe, and 2xRGMII
Supported file system: SMB, XFS, EXT3, and NTFS
Support of many third party application partners for
media serving, remote access, back-up, and media
content management
© PLX Technology,
This emerging environment presents new
challenges/opportunities to system designers, as these
new consumer devices must now evolve from a onedimensional model of a single user/application to a
sophisticated, multi-client model running
simultaneous applications.
Long gone are the times that the conventional
“cranking up” of the processor clock could effectively
meet the new requirements and cost structure of the
consumer storage market. There are two orthogonal
requirements: on one hand, these new SoCs should
provide high performance in a multi-application and
user environment. At the same time, meet the cost
sensitive requirements of the consumer market. This
requires a new architectural approach.
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NAS 7825, Next Generation Media Networked Storage Solution
PLX NAS 7825 brings a new architectural
approach to consumer NAS system on a chip
with intensive processing requirement, the
product has implemented hardware engines to
relieve the processor and the internal bus from
intensive processing and system traffic. Hence
this improves the overall system performance
with better processor utilization (i.e., higher
throughput per CPU clock) reduces internal traffic
within the SoC, and better cost structure due to
less processor demand. PLX NAS 7825 utilizes
hardware offload engines in networking, security,
and storage (i.e., RAID & SATA) areas.
For years the conventional approach to SoC design
has been the bigger hammer approach. To improve
the performance, increase the clock speed of the
processor. This approach has not been unique to the
consumer NAS market but more of a general
semiconductor industry approach.
The PLX 7825 changes the game by a holistic view of
the overall system architecture. It uses the PLX
Trident architectural approach:
Figure 1: Trident Architectural Approach
1. Processor still is a key part of the overall
architecture. However, the new applications,
particularly the media applications, have unique
and stringent requirements such as low jitter and
high QoS. The common single core processors
simply cannot meet these requirements effectively
regardless of how fast the processor clock is
running. On the other hand, the dual core
architecture has significant advantages in:
ƒ Simultaneously running multiple applications
ƒ Performance intensive applications
ƒ Multi-threading kernels such as Linux
ƒ Flexibility in processor resource allocation.
For example, each core could be dedicated to
specific application or load-sharing and
ƒ Independent I & D cache reduces cache
pollution improved power/performance ratio
particularly in media application processing
2. Application specific hardware offload engine. The
PLX NAS 7825 has taken this approach to the
next level. By analyzing the performance funnel,
and indentifying the key areas and applications
© PLX Technology,
3. What integrates all the sub-systems together as a
cohesive system is restructured firmware. The key
design criterion is to fully utilize and bond all the
system hardware via highly optimized firmware.
Simply said, optimized firmware to utilize
hardware modules. This is the most challenging
part of the overall system architecture. The PLX
NAS 7825 has taken this approach to the next
level by providing the industry’s highest
optimized firmware for consumer storage.
Figure 2: NAS 7825 architecture overview
Enabling innovation and expansion into new
The concept of networked storage is expanding into
many other consumer devices such as
routers/gateways, set-top boxes, and PVR/DVRs.
These new devices need to take additional roles over
traditional NAS. For example, they need to provide
routing, access point services, VoIP, NAT to name
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NAS 7825, Next Generation Media Networked Storage Solution
just a few. This requires that this new generation of
multi-functional SoCs provide the right performance,
interfaces, and cost structure.
PLX NAS 7825 is the first SoC that has been
designed from the bottom up to meet the challenges
of these new markets.
Full feature-set
The PLX NAS 7825 has rich feature rich set. Here is
a features summary:
ƒ Highly integrated consumer NAS SoC for the
lowest BOM cost
ƒ Unique PLX Trident architecture including dualcore ARM 11 MP each core running at 750 MHz,
application specific hardware engines for
networking, storage, and security, and highly
structured firmware
ƒ Hardware security engine with AES-128/256 bit
based encryption with hashing function support
for fast and secure connection and enhanced
ƒ 8 channel DMA controller
ƒ 64-bit wide internal bus
ƒ 2 integrated SATA3G/s ports with hardware
RAID 0 and RAID 1 engine
ƒ SPI serial NOR flash and SLC and MLC NAND
ƒ Flexible boot modes:
o Direct from HDD (no flash needed) for
low BOM cost
ƒ Integrated fan controller and PWM
ƒ Full set of interfaces including: 2xRGMII,
2xUSB2.0 H/D, UART, JTAG, and 2xPCIe
ƒ In order to provide the best class of applications,
PLX has partnered with key leading application
vendors. These applications are fully tested and
integrated so each one could be independently
offered based on the marketing and product
requirements of each customer.
Complete Rapid Development Kits (RDK)
ƒ Development board for product demo and
rapid product development
ƒ Reference design schematics for reduced timeto-market
Software Development Kit (SDK)
ƒ Advanced software development tools
including source package and script for Linux
kernel, bootloader, root file system, and web
ƒ Compliers, drivers, and complete
ƒ Full source code to facilitate product
differentiate and customization by enabling
vendors to modified supplied modules or
create new functional modules
ƒ Complete turn-key solution for fast-time-tomarket
ƒ Rich third party application environment for
media serving (uPnP and DLNA compatible),
content management, back-up, remote
management, and many more
Additional PLX advantages
© PLX Technology,
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Superior storage expertise
Custom support team for each customer for
fast time-to-market
Turn-key SDK with full feature set
Schematic and Layout Design Reviews
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