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ARM, NEC codevelop licensable processor

Posted: 21 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:arm? embedded processor forum? processor? nec electronics? mpcore?

ARM Ltd has announced at the Embedded Processor Forum the availability of a new form of licensable processor, which has been developed as part of its ongoing partnership with NEC Electronics.

The MPCore synthesizable multiprocessor, based on the ARMv6 architecture, can be configured to contain between one and four processors delivering up to 2,600 Dhrystone MIPS of performance. It supports Adaptive Shutdown of unused processors to give dynamic power consumption as low as 0.57mW/MHz from a generic 130nm process excluding cache, and the company's Intelligent Energy Manager technology to reduce power consumption by up to 85 percent.

The Intelligent Energy Manager technology can further reduce consumption by dynamically predicting the required performance and lowering the voltage and frequency. The MPCore multiprocessor enables system designers to view the core as a single "uniprocessor", simplifying development and reducing time-to-market. The processor also features configurable level 1 caches, 64-bit AMBA AXI interfaces, vector floating-point coprocessors and programmable interrupt distribution.

According to ARM, the multiprocessor solution delivers greater performance at lower frequencies than comparable single processor solutions. The multiprocessor supports up to four-way cache coherent symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), up to four-way asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP), or any combination of both.

"Multiprocessing can give system designers very high processing performance combined with low-power consumption," said Mike Muller, CTO of ARM. "Through our partnership with NEC Electronics we have developed the ground breaking MPCore multiprocessor which delivers the benefits of scalable multiprocessing in a configurable and easy to use implementation."

NEC Electronics will use the configurable ARM processor in high-performance, low-power products across the consumer electronics, automotive and mobile markets.

The MPCore multiprocessor is already available for licensing. First silicon is expected in the second quarter of 2005. An evaluation system for the MPCore multiprocessor with Linux 2.6 OS and development tools is available to enable early software development for MPCore multiprocessor designs.

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