Ineda has recently announced the Dhanush family of Wearable Processor Units (WPUs ) , a range of low power, high performance SoCs designed specifically for the emerging wearable technology market. All Dhanush WPUs have an always-on dedicated sensor hub optimized for wearable devices.
Dhanush WPUs implement a unique, scalable computing architecture called HCA (Hierarchical Computing Architecture) . Developers can use the HCA hardware and software framework to run applications and tasks at the optimal level of performance and power and within the right memory footprint.
HCA is tiered multi-CPU architecture that can share peripherals and local memory so multiple CPUs can run independently and create a unified application experience for the user. Combining HCA with a ground-up designed modular SoC offers superior power optimization capabilities over what is available today.
Dhanush WPUs are split into four classes of chipsets:
- Nano sports an ultra-low power MIPS microAptiv MCU that sits at the heart of the sensor hub and executes fast, power-efficient digital signal processing instructions; it is an ideal design for basic wearables like smartbands that require a simple real-time operating system (RTOS).
- Micro adds an additional (over Nano) high performance MIPS microAptiv processor built on a micro-architecture that implements an MMU and local caches; these features create the framework for virtual memory support, one of the essential requirements of a full-fledged, Linux-based operating system. Micro targets very affordable wearables running a stripped-down version of Linux or a sophisticated RTOS.
- Optima is a super-charged version of Micro that offers an external memory option via a low power LPDDR2 interface; this chipset is ideal for mainstream smartwatches with increased functionality that require additional memory.
- Advanced includes a dual-core, multi-threaded MIPS interAptiv CPU that can comfortably multi-task apps while running an operating system like Android; additionally, Dhanush Advanced contains a multimedia subsystem which includes PowerVR graphics and video encode/decode processing units. Dhanush Advanced is excellent for more advanced, high-end wearables that require high resolution rendering, handle complex image/video processing via GPU compute and also support low power video recording and playback (e.g. smart glasses).
Ineda is offering two reference platforms for development and evaluation: SHASTRA-A for Dhanush Advanced and SHASTRA-M for Dhanush Micro. System reference platforms are important for wearables because they allow companies to build prototype devices and test core functionality early in the production cycle red-flagging potential problems before going to mass production.