Freescale unleashes high-end multimedia processor - Embedded.com

Freescale unleashes high-end multimedia processor

MANHASSET, N.Y. — With an emphasis on low power consumption and security, Freescale Semiconductor has announced an applications processor that it claims will redefine mobile multimedia entertainment.

Called the i.MX31, the processor is based on an ARM 11 running at 532 MHz. That processor is augmented by Freescale's Smart Speed Technology that leverages parallelism to maximize the effective cycles per instruction.

Parallelism is accomplished via the 6×5 Smart Speed crossbar switch that allows up to five simultaneous transactions to minimize wait states and enable the processor to achieve performance equivalent to processors with clock speeds up to 3 GHz — but without the power consumption penalty.

Power management is accomplished through dynamic voltage and frequency scaling done in hardware. “DVFS [dynamic voltage/frequency scaling] is normally done in software, but by doing it in hardware the i.MX31 takes it to the next level,” said Boris Bobrov, a product marketing manager at Freescale (Austin, Texas). The scaling is done using state machines.

Other features include the company's Independent Platform Security Architecture as well as floating-point coprocessor and 128 Kbytes of L2 cache. For image processing, the chip comes with on-chip display controllers, an on-chip image processing unit that enables VGA 30-fps video. Interface support includes USB On-The-Go and a full-speed USB host.

The chip will sample by the end of June.

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