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National, ARM unveil next-gen PowerWise spec

Posted: 23 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Spencer Chin? National Semiconductor? ARM Holdings? PowerWise interface? PWI?

National Semiconductor Corp. and ARM Holdings PLC have released a second-generation PowerWise interface (PWI) specification that provides enhanced power management interconnect capability to feature-rich, multi-domain SoCs in battery-powered, handheld electronic devices.

National Semiconductor and ARM collaborated with adopters such as Matsushita Electric Industrial, Philips Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics and ST Microelectronics on the interface specification, which speeds deployment of advanced power management solutions in battery-powered handheld electronic devices through open, industry-wide standard for interconnecting digital SoCs and power management integrated circuits (PMICs).

Since the release of the first-generation specification two years ago, the complexity of digital SoC architectures has increased significantly as more functions are embedded into battery-powered devices such as mobile phones, handheld gaming consoles and portable media players.

"The PWI 2.0 standard enables simple two-wire implementation of advanced power management technologies such as adaptive voltage scaling and back-biasing in multi-domain architectures," said Ravindra Ambatipudi, director of Advanced Power Products, National Semiconductor, in a statement. "PWI 2.0 technology enables device manufacturers to offer new processor-intensive features such as digital multimedia processing and broadcasting with improved battery life while maintaining supply-chain flexibility."

Introduced Oct. 2003, the PowerWise interface specification defines a two-wire serial bus connecting SoCs with PMICs. The interface is specifically defined to provide master-to-slave communication, optimized for control of a voltage regulation system that enables system designers to dynamically adjust the supply and back-bias voltages on digital processors.

Available now, the PWI 2.0 specification is royalty- and license-free.

- Spencer Chin
EE Times

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