Emphasizing low power, low cost and greater integration, Texas Instruments has added two devices to its 'C5000 line of digital signal processors that are aimed squarely at battery-driven applications such as headphones, voice, biometrics and portable medical devices.
Dubbed the TMS320VC5504 and 'C5505, the processors are a major leap forward in almost all respects from their predecessor, the 'C5509. While including 320 Kbytes of on-chip memory, a USB 2.0 interface, hardware FFT and UART, an LCD interface and myriad I/O and peripheral support, the chips also manage to reduce power consumption — and cost — versus the 'C5509.
According to Srik Gurrapu, product marketing manager at Texas Instruments, the biggest single enabler to the new designs was the move from the 'C5509's 130-nm process to a low-leakage 90-nm process, along with custom libraries. This brought the active power down from 0.54 mW/MHz to 0.3 mW/MHz, with 75% dual MAC and 25% addition operations.
In addition, the low-leakage process keeps the standby power to less than 340 microwatts. This can go 30% lower using retention mode, according to Gurrapu.
In total, factoring in the integration of the memory, USB and LCD interface, Gurrapu estimates a 40% reduction in total system power and a corresponding 40% increase in battery life. “In reality, the savings will be even higher due to other improvements such as the FFT accelerator providing even higher energy efficiency,” he said. For more specifics on the FFT hardware accelerator's capabilities, click here.
The two new ICs are differentiated essentially in terms of functional integration and cost but are fully pin compatible. Both have a dual-MAC, 'C55x CPU core that runs off 1.05 V at 60 MHz and 1.3 V at 100 MHz, as well as a plethora of I/O and peripheral support, including a fully USB 2.0 physical layer (see diagram below).
Block diagram of 'C5504/5505. The biggest difference between the two is the 320 Kbytes of on-chip memory and hardware FFT accelerator on on the 'C5505.
Click on image to enlarge.
While the 'C5504 has 256 Kbytes of on-chip memory and costs $5.60 each in quantities of 1,000, the 'C5505 has 320 Kbytes, along with an up to 1,024-point programmable FFT hardware accelerator (see , the integrated LCD display controller and a 10-bit four-channel SAR ADC. It costs $6.75 each per 1,000.
To help customers get started quickly, TI is also announcing the C5505 DSP EVM that can be used with both the C5505 and C5504 processors and comes ready with application demos and code. For more information on the EVM and the new processors, click here.