ARM Launches Next-Generation Processor
ARM announced at the Spring Processor Forum, in San Jose, California, the new Cortex-R4 processor for the next generation of mobile phones, hard-disk drives, printers and automotive designs. The Cortex-R4 processor enables configurability during synthesis to optimize the processor for different embedded applications through the memory protection unit, caches and tightly coupled memory (TCM).
The configurability of the Cortex-R4 processor provides specific benefits for key markets including:
- For 3G smartphone designs, the boost in performance from the Thumb-2 instruction set allows the Cortex-R4 processor to be used in place of the two separate processors that would traditionally be used in 3G baseband modems.
- For the hard disk drive market, alongside reduced cost benefits, tightly coupled memory (TCM) capabilities offer smaller and more efficient integration with rapid response times.
- For the printer market, the Cortex-R4 processor provides increased performance at reduced costs within the same power budget.
- For automotive applications, the Cortex-R4 processor includes fault tolerance for critical safety applications as well as memory protection that supports the latest version of the OSEK real time operating system. This is important for building system-on-chip (SoC) devices for engine management systems that have to run in real-time with a wide range of peripherals.
Made using the 90nm process, the novelty features an advanced microarchitecture and bases upon the ARM Artisan Advantage library. It occupies less than 1mm2 and consumes less than 0.27mW/MHz.
ARM has already secured three lead licensees for the Cortex-R4 including Broadcom, and the processor has received support from major EDA, RTOS and tools vendors.
The ARM Cortex-R4 processor is available for licensing now, along with the majority of the supporting technology. The Instruction Set Simulator (ISS) and RealView Development Suite tools environment for the Cortex-R4 processor is available today to lead and existing licensees, and for general release on request.
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