PARIS European chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV has licensed the Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processor from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) for use in its next-generation set-top-box and digital TV system-on-chip (SoC) ICs.
The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor can contain up to four independently-configured cores carrying out multiple tasks on each one in parallel. A uniprocessor software model is possible by utilizing one of the many SMP-aware operating systems, ARM said. A single core Cortex-A9 processor is capable of delivering twice the performance of currently available smartphone processors and a four-CPU Cortex-A9 processor cluster is capable of delivering 10,000 aggregate DMIPS when clocked at 1-GHz.
In addition to the Cortex-A9 processor, ARM said it has licensed the ARM Mali-400 MP multicore scalable graphics processing unit technology to meet the demand for graphical user interfaces and for sophisticated web-based services.
ARM claimed that its Mali-400 GPU provides ST with '1080p' 3D user interfaces conforming to the Khronos OpenGL ES 2.0 API and helps deliver seamless composition of graphics and video.
"Building our next-generation HDTV consumer devices around the high-performance ARM architecture will enable us to continue to deliver best-in-class devices for our customers, while providing a simple migration route from our existing ST-40 based chips," commented Philippe Lambinet, executive vice president, Home Entertainment and Display Group, STMicroelectronics.
ST said it expects its first devices for home entertainment applications integrating the Cortex-A9 MPCore and Mali-400MP will be available in mid-2010.
ST is already using ARM processor technology in its ST-40-based SoCs and Cortex-based microcontroller products.