ARM Ltd. last week rolled out the first two of its ARM11 processor cores using the TrustZone architecture for enhanced security in wireless applications.
The 1176JZ-S and 1176JZF-S cores, launched at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, are also the first to support the company's Intelligent Energy Manager technology, which will reduce processor energy usage by up to 75%, ARM said. They will be available for licensing during the first quarter of next year, and will be made in a 0.13-micron process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
The TrustZone security-enhanced architecture, first described in May, does not specify cryptographic-math support, leaving licensees the option of doing cryptographic math in software on the basic ARM processor or as dedicated hardware.
"There is increasing concern about security issues for downloading content to wireless devices," said Noel Hurley, director of product management at ARM. "Our objective has not been to create a security product range, but for others to build this into their products, and the TrustZone technology allows them to do this."
The key, Hurley said, is a small piece of code that acts as a gatekeeper. The technology allows this code base to be partitioned from the main OS, and prevents software weaknesses from compromising secured functions. As a result, secure peripherals on a system-on-chip can be seen only when in secure mode.
The cores also include the Amba 3.0 AXI system bus interface for higher memory bandwidth and simplified interconnect design. Both cores integrate Jazelle technology for efficient embedded Java execution. The ARM1176-JZF-S also includes a floating-point co-processor, which makes it particularly appropriate for embedded 3-D graphics applications, ARM said. Both cores are synthesizable and are expected to achieve 333- to 550MHz worst-case performance.
The intelligent energy manager technology, developed in conjunction with National Semiconductor Corp., enables dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to tune the processor's performance to match immediate power demand. "This can lead to dramatic improvements in power efficiency and performance," Hurley said.
In a separate announcement last week, ARM said that it is offering its 926 core and its associated embedded debug kernel under the company's foundry license. The core will be available in both 0.18- and 0.13-micron versions, and a 0.18-micron design kit is now available, the company said.