The ARM1136J-S core and the ARM1136JF-S core are the firstmicroprocessor core implementations of the ARM11 microarchitecture,details of which were released in April. Both products are based onthe ARMv6 instruction set architecture. ARM also launched the ARM11PrimeXsys Platform (see box below) which is powered by these newcores.
The two cores are targeted at a range of consumer, wireless andnetworking applications such as set-top boxes, digital cameras, 2.5and 3G mobile phones, voice-over-IP (VoIP) infrastructure equipment,broadband modems, residential gateways, WLAN access points andsecurity devices.
The ARM11 microarchitecture features a high-performance pipelineand high-bandwidth memory system which, when combined with clockgating throughout, results in a compact and power-efficientmicroprocessor core.
With a typical operating frequency of over 533MHz in 0.13µmprocess, ARM says these two cores are the only licensablemicroprocessor intellectual property (IP) to deliver performance ofover 600Dhrystone MIPs (un-optimised) at under 200mW.
The cores have an eight-stage pipeline, with two-cycle cacheaccess, to enable high frequency implementation. Both cores feature aflexible, high-performance memory system with configurableinstruction and data cache, plus high-speed local memory (TCM) withdedicated DMA to augment the processing of real-time data. Four,high-speed 64-bit system on-chip interconnects ensure ample bandwidthfor data and instructions.
The memory management unit (MMU) supports a number of operatingsystems such as Microsoft, SymbianOS, WindRiver and linux, andincludes physically tagged caches – which reduce OS context switchtimes, and improve processor utilisation by eliminating forced cacheflushing by the OS.
The ARMv6 architecture contributes SIMD instructions to acceleratemultimedia performance, such as MPEG4 encoding in software, by afactor of two over the ARMv5 architecture.
The cores also feature improved real time response with alow-interrupt-latency mode, vectored interrupt support and 3x timesfaster interrupt entry using new stack and mode-change instructions.Low-power operation is ensured by extensive clock-gating throughoutthe design, and two low-power modes to support system-level powermanagement.
The new 'F' extension added to the ARM1136JF-S core signifies theinclusion of a floating-point coprocessor function that in additionto consumer, wireless applications, and also makes the core highlysuitable for automotive applications.
Floating-point coprocessors are ideal for embedded controlapplications such as power-train and vehicle dynamics systems, andare also a key requirement for many 3D graphics applications. Bothcores include the ARM Jazelle extensions for enhanced Javaacceleration and the ARM 'E' extensions for DSP acceleration.
The ARM1136J-S core and the ARM1136JF-S core are delivered in asynthesisable format and are designed to work seamlessly withcommercially available libraries and RAM compilers, which helps tospeed up integration of the cores into system-on-chip (SoC) devices.The ARM1136J-S core and the ARM1136JF-S core deliver over 400MHzworst-case for 160mW in a 1V, 0.13µm process
The ARM1136J-S core and the ARM1136JF-S core are supported by theARM RealView development solution consisting of RealView CompilationTools, the RealView Debugger tool, the Multi-ICE tool, RealView ICEproducts and RealViewTrace products.
ARM RealView tools are designed and used by the same creators ofthe ARM architecture and, therefore, enable the highest level ofpre-silicon evaluation and development and the broadest range ofsupport for future architecture families and derivatives. The toolsare integrated and provide a solution to any design or SoCintegration challenge, giving higher confidence in first silicon.
PrimeXsys platform provides development support forARM11
The ARM11 PrimeXsys Platform provides system developers with thehardware, software and verification IP necessary to design asystem-on-chip (SoC) solution for smart digital devices running RTOSsand open operating systems (OS), such as Linux, Palm OS v5, SymbianOS, VxWorks and Windows CE.net.
The hardware is tightly integrated with the ARM1136J-Smicroprocessor core and its software development tools includeextendible software models of the platform that allow softwaredesigners to work in parallel with hardware development.
In addition, the PrimeXsys Verification Methodology enables fasterintegration, verification and validation of a hardware and softwaresystem, further reducing time-to-market.
The development platform includes development tools to create andvalidate customised 64/32-bit bus infrastructure, support for DDR,SDRAM, ROM, flash and synchronous flash memory, support for MBX HR-Sand MBX R-S, ARM's 3D graphics engine, all the IP necessary to bootand run an OS, BSPs for Windows CE .NET and Symbian OS 7.0 andVxWorks and Verification tools based on the PrimeXsys verificationstrategy.
Companies sign up for ARM 11cores
A number of companies have signed licenses to use the ARM11cores.
Qualcomm has licensed the ARM1136J-S microprocessor core for usein advanced wireless voice and data devices. It will use theARM1136J-S core in future Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipsets fornext-generation mobile devices that support high-speed wireless voiceand data applications. The ARM1136J-S core will also enhanceQualcomm's Launchpad suite of applications, including multimedia,position location and other advanced features.
Texas Instruments has licensed both ARM11 microprocessor cores todevelop future generations of wireless voice and multimediasolutions. Combined with TI's wireless systems expertise and digitalsignal processor (DSP) technology, the ARM11 cores will improveperformance and extend battery life for 2.5 and 3G wireless handsetsand PDAs. It will be used in its OMAP processors and wirelesschipsets.
LSI Logic has licensed both cores for use in SoC designs for thecommunications, consumer and storage markets. The company isinitially implementing the ARM1136 cores into its Gflx 0.11µm(drawn) high-performance process technology. LSI believes the coreswill be suitable for data-intensive and high-performance applicationssuch as enterprise switches, next-generations gateways, RAID and SANcontrollers, and office-automation devices.
Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) November2002