ARM processor IP core for Android apps is royalty-free

February 04, 2013

Bernard Cole-February 04, 2013

Ljubljana, Slovenia-based processor IP licensor Beyond Semiconductor d.o.o.  has an offer you can’t refuse: its new BA25 royalty-free 32-bit processor, roughly equivalent to an ARM Cortex-A7 or Cortex-A8.

Providing what the company says is a performance improvement over the established BA22 RISC processor, it is being promoted as a core for use in a variety of Linux and Android applications.

According to the company it outperforms equivalent ARM in some metrics and achieves the highest performance per square millimeter when compared to gigahertz application processors and offers the highest code density amongst application processors.

Beyond Semi is offering the IP for license with a single initial payment and without royalty. Some of Beyond Semiconductor licensees include STMicroelectronics, Ericsson, Jennic – now part of NXP Semiconductor, Lattice Semiconductor and Omnivision.

It’s design has been proven out on a 65 nanometer CMOS process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and operates at clock frequencies of more than 800-MHz where it achieves 1360 DMIPS or 1.7-DMIPS/MHz.

It supports out-of-order completion and advanced branch prediction. Its seven-stage pipelined architecture and optional two-level caches and memory management functions make it suitable for use as the main processor for systems running general-purpose operating systems like Linux or Android.

The company was founded by Damjan Lampret, who had previously founded the OpenCores organization and led the development of the OpenRISC 32-bit processor architecture.

Using OpenRISC as the starting point, Beyond reworked it as BA1, BA12 and BA14 cores. The BA2 instruction set is a refinement of BA1, but the company said that it is designed to be relatively simple and compact, offering system area and energy-saving benefits.

Programming tools available for the new processor include a C/C++ tool chain, Eclipse IDE, architectural simulator, and ported C libraries, RTOSs, and OSs.

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