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DSPs pack SATA, uPP support

Posted: 07 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP? serial ATA? processor?

'C674x DSP

Texas Instruments Inc. has released four new processors (TMS320C6742, TMS320C6746, TMS320C6748 and OMAP-L138) that add serial ATA and universal parallel port (uPP) support, and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to fixed- and floating-point capabilitieswith code reusability.

This is the first time TI has included serial ATA and uPP capability to its processor lineup, in order to address better the issues of cost, connectivity, power efficiency and ease of development for industrial, medical, communications and audio applications According to Kanika Carver, marketing manager for the 'C674x and OMAP L13x lines, the serial ATA interface, with its 1.5- to 3Gbit/s capability has clear applications in audio, such as with hard drives hanging off a netbook (internal, or external). In the case of uPP, with rates of up to 150Mbit/s, the applications lie in interfacing to FPGAs and high-speed ADCs and DACs.

In the case of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, TI has had this capability for its processors for some time, but according to Carver, "we didn't provide the software to enable it on previous generations." Also, the combination of fixed-and floating-point capability came about with the announcement of the 'C6743 line back in April.

The code reusability, a foundational aspect of all TI's processors, enables software-defined-radio-like functionality in applications such as emergency services and first responders.

So, with the new foursome, the emphasis is clearly on reducing overall system cost and power, while enhancing connectivity and flexibility. For example, according to TI's release, "power protection systems benefit from the OMAP-L138 device's fixed/floating-point DSP, ARM9, Ethernet MAC and LCD controller for up to $14 cost reduction compared to current solutions." Below is an example by TI of higher integration's savings enabled by the new lineup.

Click on image to enlarge.

With regard to power, the C6742, C6746 and C6748 DSPs consume 420mW total power and 7mW @1V standby power, depending on use case, while a complementary TI TPS65070 power management device implements all sequence and default options as well as supports the devices' power modes. The OMAP L138 uses a dual-core processor that builds on the 'C6748 DSP with a 300 MHz ARM9, giving developers the flexibility to add intuitive human machine interfaces, touch screens or networking capability to their applications. It consumes 440mW total power and 15mW in standby mode and will support Windows Embedded CE and Integrity in 4Q09. A full break out of features is provided below.

Development tools for varying levels of expertise are available. A community-supported $149 experimenter board is available from Logic, the designer and manufacturer. The board features the OMAP-L138 system-on-module (SOM), 64Mbytes mDDR, open source Linux, DSP/BIOS drivers and can be used to develop on any of the four devices.

Click on image to enlarge.

An OMAP-L138/C6748 EVM from TI is available for $795 for those that need full peripheral access and TI support. The EVM builds on the experimenter board with an extra C6748 SOM, double the memory (128Mbyte mDDR) and full support for connectivity peripherals. An OMAP-L138 (SOM) is a production-ready solution with 128Mbyte mDDR, power management and Ethernet PHY. It is available for less than $99 @ 10K EAU from Logic.

All processors are available for sampling and are priced as follows: TMX320C6742 for $6.70, TMX320C6746 for $13.50, TMX320C6748 for $15.20 and OMAP-L138 for $18.60 (1,000 units).

- Patrick Mannion
DSP DesignLine

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