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TI DSP, processor lines address power budget needs

Posted: 24 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power-efficient DSPs? application processors? high-precision floating-point processor?

Giving engineers the scalable solutions they need to design both basic and feature-laden portable products, Texas Instruments Inc. introduced its breakthrough low-power processor roadmap with more than 15 new devices across four product lines. For the first time, designers will be able to easily bring portability to applications requiring high-precision floating-point processor capabilities, as TI's new roadmap includes the industry's lowest power floating-point DSP. TI's new devices also enable significantly longer battery life with the industry's lowest power fixed-point DSP. Customers will also have the option to design portability and feature rich GUIs into their products using TI's ARM9 and ARM9-plus-DSP applications processors.

"Throughout recent years, customers big and small have approached TI with a focus on pure performance, but there has been a shift in the last year or so and developers' first question is now, 'This is my power budget; how can TI help me do more with it?'" said Gene Frantz, TI principal fellow. "The answer is somewhat simple: decades of experience allow TI to cut power consumption, improve ease-of-use and drive performance within its architectures through better process technology, peripheral integration, parallel processing, analog, connectivity and power management software and tools."

Long battery life
The types of products that benefit most from very low power fall into three general power budget categories. First are those that draw current from a low power source, such as a USB port. Next are devices where consumers expect batteries to last an entire work day, and the third category includes devices that consumers expect to function for two or more weeks without a battery change. Throughout the next 12 months, TI will offer an embedded processor solution for each of these power categories with more than 15 new devices within four product lines.

Low power and high precision with TMS320C674x DSPs: For the first time, developers will have the ability to bring portability to audio, medical, industrial and other applications requiring the precision, wide dynamic range and time-to-market benefits of floating-point DSPs. Using 3x times less power than existing floating-point DSPs, the C674x devices deliver 24-32bit accuracy and are the industry's lowest power floating-point DSPs. Slated for delivery in Q4 08, the power consumption is as low as 6mW in deep-sleep mode and 420mW total power in active mode.

High performance at half the power with TMS320C640x DSPs: The C640x DSPs use half the power of existing high-performance devices in TI's TMS320C6000 DSP platform, giving system designers the ability to add portability to processing-intensive applications including software defined radio, industrial instrumentation and emerging markets. Based on TI's high-performance C64+ core, the devices offer power consumption as low as 6mW in deep-sleep mode and 415mW total power in active mode. Through pin-for-pin and software compatibility with various OMAP-L1x and C674x products, the C640x processors offer a new level of scalability and will be available in early 2009.

Multimedia performance and low power with OMAP-L1x applications processors: Enabling developers to integrate feature-rich GUIs as well as networking and touch screen capabilities into their portable designs, the new OMAP-L1x product line includes ARM9 and ARM9-plus-DSP architectures. The new devices will offer a variety of peripherals for networking and will run Linux or the DSP/BIOS real-time kernel for OS flexibility. The product line is also pin-for-pin compatible with various devices in the new C674x and C640x product lines. Power consumption ranges from 6mW in deep-sleep mode to 435mW total power in active mode, and the devices will be available in early 2009.

Maximize battery life with TMS320C550x: For developers requiring the longest battery life, TI will be extending the low-power leadership of its TMS320C5000 DSP platform with new C550x devices. The DSPs include large on-chip memory as well as an optimized FFT coprocessor for faster analysis and still cut core power consumption levels to 6.8?W in deep-sleep mode and 46mW total power in active mode, alf the power of existing C5000 devices. Applications such as multiparameter medical, noise reduction headphones and portable audio/music recording will benefit from the performance and peripheral scheme of the C550x DSPs. The devices will be available in Q1 09.

C674x silicon and associated software and tools will begin sampling in Q4 08 and other product lines will roll out throughout the next 12 months. Suggested retail pricing will vary by device but will start at less than $9 (100 units). Various processors within the C640x, OMAP-L1x and C674x product lines offer software and pin-for-pin compatibility, allowing engineers to start their development efforts today with existing devices and then lower power consumption and add features with new devices in the near future.

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