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Embedded MPU integrates two ARM Cortex-A9 cores

Posted: 09 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microprocessor? multimedia? integration? embedded?

STMicroelectronics has introduced has expanded its dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 microprocessor family with an embedded microprocessor with advanced multimedia capabilities.

The SPEAr1340 targets a broad range of smart connected devices, from high-resolution video-conferencing to intelligent displays and web-connected devices. ST's SPEAr1340 integrates ARM Mali 200 graphics processing unit for advanced 2D and 3D acceleration in user interfaces, navigation systems, browsing, and�gaming. The device also embeds a hardware video encoder and a decoder supporting major compression standards (including H.264, AVS and VP8), with video resolution up to 1080p and 30 frames per second. The SPEAr1340 can also handle multiple concurrent video flows (four camera inputs available) in multimedia-intensive applications like surveillance video cameras.

The hardware implementation of graphics and video capabilities in the SPEAr1340 results in multimedia performance at ultra-low power consumption, while maintaining the two Cortex-A9 cores available for performing concurrent tasks as requested by the users. With its multiple interfaces, including I2S and S/PDIF, the SPEAr1340 also provides audio capabilities, handling up to 7.1 surround-sound configurations in both input and output paths.

In security, the SPEAr1340 integrates a multistandard cryptographic engine and One Time Programmable (OTP) registers for unique identification and external flash memory anti-tamper protection.

"The SPEAr1340 represents the leading edge of the embedded microprocessor market," said Loris Valenti, general manager of STMicroelectronics' computer systems division.

She added, "The unique combination of formidable processing power, high-level features, peripheral integration and advanced multimedia capabilities targets applications from entry-level web-connected devices to video-conferencing and security systems."

Manufactured in ST's low-power 55nm HCMOS (high-speed CMOS) process technology, the new microprocessor benefits from the SPEAr1300 architecture, which combines the unrivalled low-power and multiprocessing capabilities of two ARM Cortex-A9 cores with innovative Network-on-Chip (NoC) technology.

The�dual ARM Cortex-A9 processors support both symmetric and asymmetric operations, at speeds�of 600MHz/core (industrial worst-case conditions) for 3000 DMIPS equivalent. NoC is said to be a flexible communications architecture providing 'Quality of Service' (QoS) for the whole system as it enables multiple different traffic profiles while maximizing data power performance.

The SPEAr1340 has also 1x Giga/Fast Ethernet ports (for external GMII/RGMII/MII PHY); 1x PCIe/SATA Gen2 links (with embedded PHY); 2x USB 2.0 host ports with integrated PHYs; 1x USB2.0 OTG port with integrated PHY; I2S, UARTs, SPI, I2C ports; HD display controller with touch screen and overlay windows capabilities; memory card controller; 6x6 keyboard controller; 4x camera inputs; 4 -bit parallel-port video input; 2x Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) ports; secure boot and key storage capabilities; and power-saving.





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