The ARM processor camp is continuing to broaden its capabilities, offering more processing power in the low-cost range while boosting performance at the high end.
ARM itself is trimming power consumption and focusing on security, while manufacturers Philips and LSI Logic are addressing pricing and performance, respectively.
Aiming at the mass market, San Jose, CA-based Philips Semiconductors (www.semiconductors.philips.com) has added more flash and RAM in a compact package that remains in the $5 range. "We've doubled the amount of flash, increased the I/O from 32 to 46, and added A/D converters on-chip, yet we're still keeping the price as close to $5 as possible," says Geoff Lees, marketing director for the microcontroller line at Philips. The ARM 7 core runs at 60 MHz.
Philips' LPC21xx line is aimed at markets such as motor control, servo loop control, power management, and data acquisition. Flash capacity goes up to 256 kbytes, with an additional 16 kbytes of SRAM. A 10-bit A/D converter and 46 general purpose I/O lines are all housed in a 64-pin package. The Amkor chip-scale package option, provides small size yet doesn't force designers to go to six-layer circuit boards, Lees notes.
Addressing the higher end of the market, LSI Logic Corp. (www.lsilogic.com) unveiled an ARM 11 core that runs at 400 MHz, a speed fast enough to run memories and the core simultaneously. "Our 400 MHz design overcomes system latencies normally caused by running the processor and DRR memories asynchronously," says Rafi Kedem, senior director of LSI's CoreWare Technology Group.
The 32-bit 1136J-S has an eight-stage pipeline and extensive memory capabilities with 16 kbytes of instruction and data cache as well as identical capacities for both instruction and data tightly coupled memory.
Looking towards the future, ARM LLC of Cambridge, England (www.arm.com) has developed cores that will increase performance beyond 500 MHz while also addressing power consumption and data security. These new ARM 11 members, available to partners early in 2004, offer Intelligent Energy Manager, which trims system power consumption by as much as 75%.
|LPC2114/2124 Block Diagram
|I 28/256 KB ISP IAP128-b wide FLASH
||E-ICE/RTM Interface Emulation Trace Macrocell
|16 KB SRAM
||Vectored Interrupt Controller
|AHB Interface 16/32-bit ARM7TDMI-S Core APB Interface
|Power Management RTC, WDT, PLL
|Capture/Compare Timer 0/I
|UART I (Modem Control)
||SPI 0, I
|I/O Ports (46)
|4 Channel 10-bit A/D Converter