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Host processor allows robots to see, navigate in 3D

Posted: 28 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:host processor? LCD controller? Power Architecture technology?

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled the MPC8610 integrated host processor that helps robots see and navigate in 3D space, enables touch screen kiosks to recognize voices and facial features, and allows cockpit controls to display images with outstanding resolution.

Based on Power Architecture technology, the device replaces up to four chips required by other solutions. The MPC8610 integrates a high-performance e600 Power Architecture core with the AltiVec vector processing engine, an LCD controller and I2S/AC97 SSI controllers for audio inputs and outputs.

The MPC8610 features a high-performance, superscalar e600 core operating between 667MHz and 1.333GHz (up to 3000 Dhrystone MIPS). The device's smaller 256Kbyte backside L2 cache with error correcting code saves power and cost for target applications that typically do not require the full 1Mbyte cache available in other e600-based devices. Maximum power (preliminary) at 1066MHz is 15W at a junction temperature of 105C.

In addition, an LCD controller drives a display with real-time blending of up to three planes, a maximum display resolution of SXGA 1280 x 1024, and display color depth up to 24bits per pixel. The audio interface features two synchronous serial interface controllers for I2S or AC97 audio I/Os.

Vector processing, called AltiVec technology in Freescale implementations, is a capability built into the Power instruction set architecture. By using this DSP-like technology to process images, the e600 core can run at slower speeds and achieve lower power consumption and operational costs. Freescale's e600 cores have been used for many years in aerospace and defense applications to process images, map terrain and navigate.

By integrating all core-to-peripheral connections, Freescale reduces the number of high-speed parallel buses routed on the circuit board, ultimately delivering smaller boards with fewer layers and higher processing densities. This integration provides significant power, board real estate and cost savings for applications such as kiosks, robotics, in-vehicle infotainment equipment, cockpit displays, single-board computers and multi-function printers.

"This processor continues Freescale's 15 year tradition of driving Power Architecture into new categories of embedded applications," said Glenn Beck, industrial segment marketing manager for Freescale. "The MPC8610 demonstrates how the scalable, powerful and flexible Power Architecture platform can accelerate momentum in the growing area of robotics and unmanned vehicles."

The MPC8610 is manufactured with 90nm silicon-on-insulator technology and is packaged in a 29mm x 29mm, 783-pin, 1mm pitch FC-PBGA.

General samples and evaluation boards are available for order. Production quantities are planned for mid-2008.

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