Product platform integrates ARM Cortex-M4, -A5 cores - Embedded.com

Product platform integrates ARM Cortex-M4, -A5 cores

ARM TechCon – Freescale Semiconductor has developed a product platform that incorporates a high-performance microcontroller (MCU) and an energy-efficient applications processor.

This asymmetrical-multiprocessing-architecture platform incorporates an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller and a Cortex-A5 processor to enable simultaneous real-time control, graphics-rich apps processing and flexible connectivity options.

Included in the peripherals supporting the two ARM cores are analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog converters, programmable timers, on-chip memory, flexible memory interfaces, high-speed communication interfaces and security.

The product platform will be the foundation of a family of embedded microprocessors (eMPUs) that, combined with Kinetis MCUs and i.MX applications processors.

Freescale will also provide an inter-process communication (IPC) application programming interface (API) which will enable the hardware and IPC API to be used to create applications without worrying about how the high-level operating system (like Linux) and RTOS (such as MQX) communicate with each other.

The importance of HMI in medical is increasing however FDA approval is lengthy even for minor changes to the product With a single-chip, dual-core device, medical customers can segment the main application code into non-critical sections and critical sections.

Changes to critical sections can require FDA approval. Approval process can be minimized for changes to non-critical section such as integrating a new communication interface. The Cortex-M4 core is suited to handle real-time functions of patient critical health parameters, while the Cortex-A5 is ideal for applications processing of the HMI.

The Cortex-M4 core is suitable for real-time critical functions such as security and tamper detection while the Cortex-A5 is suitable for applications processing of HMI such as multimedia and connectivity.

The company is designing solutions that support multiple operating systems, as well as reference designs for industrial applications.

A software development platform will be available several months before the  silicon to reduce software development cycle time for industrial designs.

The initial software development platform for the product platform will be available later this quarter with the first industrial-focused eMPU product families based on the architecture in available in the first quarter of 2012. Derivatives of the new platform are planned for the automotive infotainment market. Automotive device details will be announced in the second quarter of 2012.

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