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Microprocessors enable flexible digital engines at low cost

Posted: 12 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microprocessor? CMOS? communication? processor?

SPEAr microprocessor

STMicroelectronics expanded its SPEAr microprocessor family with four new devices targeting embedded-control applications across market segments from computer peripherals and communication to industrial automation. Based on the latest ARM core technology, ST's SPEAr microprocessors enable equipment manufacturers to develop complex yet flexible digital engines at a fraction of the time and cost of competing solutions.

Manufactured in state-of-the-art low-power 90nm and 65nm HCMOS (high-speed CMOS) process technologies, ST's SPEAr (Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture) embedded microprocessors provide high levels of computing power and connectivity. The devices combine one or two advanced ARM9 processor cores (ARM926EJ-S up to 400MHz in typical conditions, or 333MHz in worst-case conditions of temperature and voltage) with memory interfaces, and a large set of IP blocks delivering connectivity, communication, and audio/video functions for different applications.

The SPEAr microprocessors target networked devices used for communication, display and control in applications including VoIP phones, wireless access devices, printers, thin-client computers, PC docking stations, bar-code scanners/readers, home appliances, residential control and security systems, and medical lab/diagnostics equipment.

The SPEAr300 is a suitable choice for human-machine interface and security applications. It contains camera interface, LCD and keyboard controller, crypto accelerator, TDM bus, USB 2.0 and fast Ethernet. Meanwhile the SPEAr310 is tailored for telecom network applications. Integrated IP blocks of the device include five fast Ethernet ports, TDM bus, two HDLC ports, crypto accelerator and USB 2.0.

The SPEAr320 is well-suited for factory automation and consumer applications. Its function blocks include two CAN interfaces, four serial ports, standard parallel port, LCD controller, crypto accelerator and USB 2.0. Lastly, the dual-core SPEAr600, with benchmarked performance of 733 DMIPS, targets highly compute-intensive embedded applications across market segments. In addition to the two cores, it contains: Giga Ethernet, USB 2.0, external local bus access for glueless FPGA connection and LCD controller.

Facilitating a full-system project approach, ST provides SPEAr development kits that contain a complete set of elements to develop and test the customer system with minimum time and resource requirements.

ST's new SPEAr embedded microprocessors are in full production. The single-core models (SPEAr300/310/320) are priced below $7 for mass production quantities, the dual-core SPEAr600 sells below $9 for mass production quantities.

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