LONDON -- ARM has extended its ARM 11 core architecture with several new parts announced Monday Oct.13 at the Microprocessor Forum being held in San Jose, California.
Two of the devices are the first to use the TrustZone architecture for enhanced security in wireless applications.
The 1176JZ-S and 1176JZF-S cores are also the first to support the ARM Intelligent Energy Manager technology that promises to reduce processor energy usage by up to 75 percent. They will be available for licensing during the fist quarter of next year, and be made on TSMC's 0.13micron process.
ARM first revealed details about the TrustZone security enhanced architecture in May this year. The technology does not specify cryptographic math support, leaving the option open to licensees whether to do cryptographic maths in software on the basic ARM processor or as dedicated hardware.
"There is increasing concern about security issues for downloading content to wireless devices," said Noel Hurley, director product management at ARM. "Our objective has not been to create a security product range, but for others to build this in to their products, and the Trust Zone technology allows them to do this, " he added.
The key, says Hurley, is a small piece of code that acts as a gatekeeper. The technology allows this trusted code base to be partitioned from the main OS, and prevents software weaknesses from compromising secured functions. This allows SoC secure peripherals to be seen only when in secure mode.
The cores also include the AMBA 3.0 AXI System Bus Interface for higher memory bandwidth and simplified interconnect design. Both integrate Jazelle technology for efficient embedded Java execution. The ARM1176JZF-S also includes a floating-point coprocessor, which makes it particularly appropriate for embedded 3D graphics applications. Both cores are synthesizable and are expected to achieve 333-550MHz worst-case performance.
The Intelligent Energy Manager technology, developed in conjunction with National Semiconductor, enables dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to tune the processor's performance to match immediate power demand.
"This can lead to dramatic improvements in power efficiency and performance," said Hurley.