Camas, Wash. Operating at clock speeds of 250 and 266MHz respectively, the LH7A400 and LH7A404 ARM9-based microcontrollers from Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas provide the extra boost in performance that's now needed to support portable media players, audio jukeboxes, gaming products and other handheld devices. The higher clock speeds also enable these components to meet the demands required by new and emerging functionality, according to Sharp.
"By using one of these two microcontrollers, engineers get more functionality at a speed that meets the needs of emerging media markets," said Christophe Chene, Senior Director of IC Marketing, Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. Based on the ARM922T core, Sharp's SoCs feature peripherals such as a programmable LCD controller with integrated touch screen support.
At the higher speeds, the two BlueStreak ARM9-based 32-bit System-on-Chips. can decode up to 24 to 30 frames per second of MPEG4 encoded content at a QVGA resolution under an operating system such as WinCE or Linux. This level of performance is needed for the majority of media players under development, which are expected to run at QVGA resolution.
Sharp offers low cost development tools to support these components. Available from its distributors, the development tools include a low-cost software development kit, developed by Logic Product Development. In addition, comprehensive software and documentation is available via Sharp's BlueStreak Software Library, able.sharpsma.com.
The LH7A404 SoC is also a key component in the new QVGA media player reference design released by Sharp for mid-range media applications, including handheld audio/video players, digital photo albums and multimedia toys. This reference design integrates Sharp's 3.6-inch native landscape Amorphous Silicon (A-Si) TFT-LCD (LQ036Q1DA01), which is specifically designed for portable media applications. Overall, the reference design provides the complete hardware and software solution to allow design engineers to quickly bring products to market, while providing product differentiation, and enabling lower system costs.
The block diagram (below) shows details of the device.
Samples of the enhanced LH7A400 and LH7A404 SoCs are available in Q1, 2005, through Sharp's global network of sales offices and third-party distribution partners. Sharp will make these components available in quantity in April and June respectively.
Pricing in quantity of 100k units for the following units is: LH79524, $11.50; LH79525, $9.50; LH7A400, low teens and the LH7A404 is priced in the mid teens.
A full list of product specifications for both components is available at www.sharpmcu.com.