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New Powerful Embedded Microprocessor with Dual ARM Cores from STMicroelectronics


First member of ST’s new advanced symmetrical multiprocessor SPEAr family delivers computing power and customizability for multiple embedded applications,


ST Microelectronics has released the industry’s first embedded microprocessor that couples two ARM Cortex-A9 cores with a DDR3 (Third-generation double-data rate) memory interface. Manufactured in ST’s low-power 55nm HCMOS (high-speed CMOS) process technology, the SPEAr1310 delivers high computing power and customizability for multiple embedded applications together with the high level of cost competitiveness offered by system-on-chip devices.

The 8-bit STM8 core has a 32-bit memory interface and three-stage pipeline, achieving 20 MIPS peak processing performance at 24MHz. A stack pointer and 16-bit index registers enhance manipulation of tables, and the core’s 16 Mbytes of linear memory address space streamlines paging operations above 64Kbytes. In addition, improvements to stack-pointer operations, supplemental addressing modes and new instructions boost support for C programming and real-time performance to increase code density and processor efficiency.

The new microprocessor combines the unrivalled low power and multi-processing capabilities of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor core with innovative Network-on-Chip (NoC) technology. The dual ARM Cortex-A9 processors support both fully symmetric and asymmetric operations, at speeds of 600MHz/core (industrial worst-case conditions) for 3000 DMIPS equivalent. NoC is a flexible communications architecture that enables multiple different traffic profiles while maximizing data throughput in the most performance- and power-efficient way.

“SPEAr1310 is the first device in the recently announced SPEAr1300 family and others will follow shortly,” said Loris Valenti, General Manager of STMicroelectronics’ Computer Systems Division. “With its innovative architecture and powerful feature set, SPEAr1310 is at the leading edge of the embedded processor market and enables an unprecedented mix of cost competitiveness, performance and flexibility.”
Equipped with an integrated DDR2/DDR3 memory controller and a full set of connectivity peripherals, including, USB, SATA and PCIe (with integrated PHY), in addition to a Giga Ethernet MAC, ST’s SPEAr1310 microprocessor targets high-performance embedded-control applications across market segments from communication and computer peripherals to industrial automation.
Cache memory coherency with hardware accelerators and I/O blocks increases throughput and simplifies software development. The Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP), coupled with the device’s NoC routing capabilities, addresses the latest application requirements for hardware acceleration and I/O performance. ECC (Error Correction Coding) protection against soft and hard errors on both DRAM and L2 Cache memories dramatically improves the Mean-Time-Between-Failures for enhanced reliability.

Features of the SPEAr1310 include:

  • 2x Giga/Fast Ethernet ports (for external GMII/RGMII/MII PHY)
  • 3x Fast Ethernet (for external SMII/RMII PHY)
  • 3x PCIe/SATA Gen2 links (with embedded PHY)
  • 1x 32-bit PCI expansion bus (up to 66 MHz)
  • 2x USB 2.0 host ports with integrated PHYs
  • 1x USB2.0 OTG port with integrated PHY
  • 2x CAN 2.0 a/b interfaces
  • 2x TDM/E1 HDLC controllers with 256/32 time slots per frame respectively
  • 2x HDLC controllers for external RS485 PHYs
  • I2S, UARTs, SPI, I2C ports
  • HD Display controller with Touchscreen and Overlay windows capabilities
  • Memory Card I/F
  • Security HW Accelerator
  • Secure Boot and Key Storage capabilities
  • Power saving features

The company's Web site address is http://www.st.com/.
[Reprinted with kind permission from ST Microelectronics]


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