SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Offering a quick-turn approach to telecommunications-equipment vendors,Integrated Device Technology Inc. this week will roll out an embedded
microprocessor with an on-chip bus designed to accept standard peripherals.
While IDT has served up a variety of stand-alone processors for communications
applications, the new device -- based on a 32-bit MIPS core -- integrates several
features to take on the networking infrastructure, where the company has been
increasing its efforts.
The chip is the first integrated processor to emerge from IDT's recently created
Internetworking Products Division (IPD) and combines the company's 150-MHz
RC32334 CPU core with a 66-MHz 2.1 PCI-compliant interface, memory
controller, and standard, general-purpose system modules that include a DMA
controller, interrupt controller, and serial ports.
IDT called attention to the embedded chip's new IDT Peripheral Bus (IPBus),
which the company said will enable designers to easily attach
any number of intellectual-property modules and aid in design reuse.
"The RC32334 is the first in a family of integrated communications
application-specific standard products [ASSPs]," said Bill Eichen, director of
marketing at the IPD. "It's a complete and robust integrated processor that offers
the maximum degree of design flexibility, and lays the groundwork for a family of
integrated processors designed to power networking and communications
Eichen said the flexible bus resulted from customer demand for designs capable
of using standard peripherals and processor cores to minimize board space and
shrink time-to-market, while guaranteeing a high-bandwidth data interface.
While the IPBus serves as the processor's so-called "backbone," the PCI-bus
interface allows designers to talk to a variety of PCI-based communications
peripherals, including networking switch fabrics, network interface cards,
segmentation and reassembly components, and wired and wireless connections
in the home.
The chip is aimed at network equipment such as SOHO routers, LAN switches,
and xDSL residential gateways.The IPD, formed in March, is the manifestation of
IDT's renewed communications strategy and combines the company's
microprocessor division, switching-products group, and networking-products
division to develop ASSPs for voice, data, and wireless networks. The RC32334 is
the first processor to emerge from the group and fulfills IDT's charter to move from
high-performance stand-alone chips to those able to deliver more functions for
"What we've recognized over the last couple of years is that we really view the
CPU in the embedded space as the core building block," said Ian Ferguson,
technical marketing manager at the IPD. "Where we envision the value is what
you can build around that core."
The RC32334 delivers 197 dhrystone mips at 150 MHz, offering enough overhead
to move some system functions to software to increase design flexibility. The
device is packaged in a 256-pin plastic BGA measuring 17 sq. mm, and
implements boundary-scan JTAG to simplify manufacturing of a BGA-based
board, the company said.