Austin, Tex. -- Adding fuel to the growing industry-wide support for the ARM architecture is Cirrus Logic's expanded ARM9-based embedded processor line, targeting a very wide range of applications that include digital media servers, audio/video jukeboxes, telematic control systems, intelligent house controllers, multizoned stereo audio systems, Internet radios, industrial controls, KVM controllers, biometric security systems and GPS devices.
Anchoring the ARM9 line is the entry-level EP9301 and a much more highly integrated system-on-a-chip processor called the EP9315 that paves the way for a multitude of next-generation consumer and industrial application products. The 9315 is said to be ideal for designers of advanced applications requiring a high level of feature integration at competitive price points. Another eight members of the family will be launched by mid-year.
Among the features of the EP9301 are CPU speeds of up to 166 MHz, external bus speed of 66 MHz, integration of a 1/10/100 Base-T Ethernet media access controller (MAC) and two USB 2.0 host ports.
The EP9315 boasts CPU speeds of up to 200 MHz, a 100 MHz bus speed and the integration of an Ethernet MAC, PCMCIA support, two-channel IDE and three USB 2.0 hosts.
The EP9315 also supports an 18-bit display, touch screen and keypad, and it adds a separate graphics accelerator to speed up basic graphic functions such as block copies. The device also supports multiple audio solutions, up to six channels I2S 24-bit audio, and can encode and decode industry-standard audio algorithms such as AAC, MP3 and Windows Media Audio.
Joining the EP9301 and the EP9315 during the next three months will be the EP9303, EP9304, EP9305, EP9306, EP9307, EP9309, EP9310, and EP9311. Cirrus declined to elaborate on features of these devices, until they are introduced. Another unit, the EP9312 has been in the market for over a year.
"Cirrus' new embedded processors are provided with WinCE .NET board support packages and Linux kernel ports, and they are backed by Cirrus' ARM Third Party Program -- all of which facilitates a rapid development and time-to-market cycle for our OEM customers," said Jean Anne Booth, director of marketing for Embedded Processor Products, Cirrus Logic.
Cirrus OEM customers can leverage two Cirrus proprietary technologies, the MaverickKey digital rights management tool and MaverickCrunch math co-processor. MaverickKey technology provides OEMs with the means to assign specific hardware IDs for digital rights-management implementation within the application. MaverickKey technology, which is standard on all Cirrus ARM9-based embedded processors, can also be used by OEMs and design houses to protect against design piracy as products enter into manufacturing.
The MaverickCrunch engine is an advanced, mixed-mode math coprocessor that greatly accelerates the single- and double-precision integer and floating-point processing capabilities of the ARM920T processor core. The MaverickCrunch engine is standard on all Cirrus ARM9-based embedded processors except the EP9301.
The EP9301 is available immediately in a 208-pin quad flat package at $8.96 in volumes of 10,000. The EP9315 is available immediately in a 352-pin ball grid array package at $24.01. Engineering development kits are also available now for both the EP9301 and EP9315.
All other new members of the ARM9-based embedded processor will be offered in a 272-pin thin flat ball grid array (TFBGA) package, and will be sampling to Cirrus customers in the June quarter of calendar year 2004. Pricing for these products ranges from $12 to $17, depending upon the level of integration. The EP9312 is available now for mass production, priced at $21.83 in 10,000 unit volumes. All products are available in both commercial and industrial temperature grades.
# # #