SANTA CLARA, Calif --- ARC International is readying a range of cores, dubbed Energy PRO, that adds active power management capability to its line-up of IP cores. The cores come validated with Cadence Low Power Solution and Common Power Format (CPF) through a partnership between the ARC, Cadence and Virage.
Full details of the cores are due to be revealed later this month but at briefings ahead of ARC's ConfigCon held here, the company said the integrated hardware/software technology and associated design methodology can provide up to four times or more reduction in energy reduction.
Focused on portable applications Energy PRO works with ARChitect, ARC's processor configuration tool, to capture the power design intent of a custom configured ARC processor cores. Then tight coupling with the Cadence Encounter IC Design Platform and low-power logic libraries from ARC partners support a designer's power intent throughout the entire SoC design flow.
The company said a version for the UPF flow is in the works, but would not specify when that would be available.
The key hardware elements implemented include straight-forward clock gating, power shutdown modes, and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling techniques.
The power management unit is software controlled.
"Our objective with Energy PRO is to bring serious energy saving at broad system level to power critical applications, not just the processor core," said Brian
Knowles, senior director for product marketing at ARC.
Initially two parts are set to be introduced, the Energy PRO 20 and and Energy PRO 30, with the architecture derived from ARC's 600 series execution unit.
The 30 series incorporates a 32-bit CPU with caches, single cycle memory and DSP extensions. The 20 series does not incorporate caches, and can be de-configured to create what ARC says is the smallest, lowest power 32-bit licensable core on the market.
The development is supported with an enhanced version of ARC's MXQ RTOS and an evaluation version of this is included with all licensing deals.
The hardware portion covers ARC and non-ARC IP and provides the logic necessary to generate the correct power management sequences and to control the
transition of the hardware between power modes.
Energy PRO also provides an interface that SoC designers can use to extend the low-power techniques to other parts of the SoC to implement coordinated power management across the chip.