STMicroelectronics unveiled a prototype formatter board for laser-printer applications, based on the company's Spear embedded microprocessor technology.
The board comprises all hardware, firmware and software components.
It integrates the Spear600 device with two ARM9 cores, DDR2 memory, USB 2.0, Giga Ethernet, and an FPGA.
Laser-printer specific IPs, firmware subsystems are included as well as a simplified user interface based on the Windows Software Development Kit.
The application-specific features include a laser video output and LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) buffers that directly drive the four-color laser beams, four direct memory-access channels for data management, and a serial interface that sends commands and receives status information from the laser engines.
The board aimed at a wide application range, from entry-level single-function laser printers to mid-range and high-end multi-function models.
Based on the latest ARM core technology, the Spear devices enable equipment manufacturers to develop complex yet flexible digital engines at a fraction of the time and cost required by a full-custom design approach, according to ST Microelectronics.