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Freescale processor mixes low power, high entertainment quality

Posted: 21 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:freescale semiconductor? i.mx31? i.mx31l? multimedia processor? processor?

The new multimedia processors from Freescale Semiconductor promises to deliver a rich and long lasting mobile entertainment experience to consumers. Based on the arm11 platform and enhanced with the company's Smart Speed technology, the i.MX31 and i.MX31L processors maximize the effective cycles per instruction (eCPI) to create a new benchmark for power-performance mobile entertainment solutions, the press release states.

"Our i.MX31 processors provide a high octane multimedia engine with exceptional power management techniques for long battery life, a combination that is prized by OEMs designing a new breed of handheld multimedia entertainment devices," said Franz Fink, SVP and GM of Freescale's Wireless and Mobile Systems Group.

According to London-based research firm ARC, the global mobile entertainment industry will be worth $27 billion by 2008. This is due to the spending power of the ever-expanding youth market. And to get a bigger chunk of this market, OEMs need a multimedia processor that can handle power-hungry applications and at the same time, provide high mobile entertainment quality.

The new i.MX31 processors from Freescale promise to do just that and more.

The i.MX31 processors include leading power management, security management and digital rights management, and image processing technology, plus, a vector floating point co-processor and L2 cache. According to the company, this combination of features satisfies mobile entertainment companies' desire to protect trusted mobile content and respond to "power users" who require 3D graphics, video play-back and messaging applications to run simultaneously.

The processors deploy Freescale's Independent Platform Security Architecture, a combination of hardware and software security features, and include an on-chip image processing unit (IPU) aside from the on-chip display controllers. Delivering up to 30fps video quality VGA, this IPU is equipped with powerful control and synchronization capabilities to perform tasks with minimal to no involvement of the ARM CPU.

Both the i.MX31 and i.MX31L processors integrate High Speed USB On-The-Go port for connection to a PC or PC peripherals without PC involvement, plus a high speed USB host and a full speed USB host for interfacing with peripherals such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular baseband.

Smart Speed technology

The Smart Speed technology with eCPI makes it possible for the 532MHz i.MX31 applications processors to take advantage of parallelism to operate at the equivalent performance of a 3GHz processor, yet minimize power consumption. The lower the eCPI, the less demanding an application is on the CPU and the batteries, Freescale explained.

Samples of the i.MX31 and i.MX31L processors are expected to begin shipping by the end of this month (June 2005).

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