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Freescale multicore SoCs provide computing power to driver assistant systems and consumer devices

January 10, 2011 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222901301
Freescale multicore SoCs provide computing power to driver assistant systems and consumer devices With its new i.MX 6 application processor family, Freescale aims at automotive infotainment systems, driver assistant systems and other embedded applications requiring high number crunching capacity. The SoCs come with one, two or four ARM Cortex A9 processor cores.

The Cortex A9 offers high computing power with clock rates of up to 1.2 GHz; the choice of up to four cores offers designers excellent scalability. According to Freescale, the i.MX 6 family thus exceeds the predecessor generation of application processors by a factor of five. Potential applications are 3D-enabled video players, game consoles, augmented reality applications for automotive environments and content creation. In addition, the SoCs enable designers to reduce space requirements and power consumption of the devices.

The i.MX 6 product family is designed for some of the fastest growing application segments in the consumer markets, Freescale says, referring to market research company In-Stat. For instance, e-readers: According to In-Stat, the number of e-readers sold is expected to skyrocket to 35 million units in the year 2015 – up from 11.5 million units in 2010. A similar development is expected for internet tablet computers.

Shared SoC IP modules ensure comprehensive compatibility of software and design tools across the entire product family. At the same time, integrated power management functions, a high number of I/O functions as well as pin compatibility across all packaging options help to reduce product complexity and design costs. Supporting temperature range profiles for consumer, industrial and automotive markets, the i.MX 6 product family helps OEM customers to speed up design cycles and realize high value creation.

The i.MX 6 application processors are among the first ones at the market to offer hardware support for the VP-8 video codec, Freescale claims. Other features include ARMv7, Neon, VFPv3 and Trustzone support. The devices contain a video engine capable of decoding 1080p60 images, 1080p30 coding and 3D HD video processing. Interfaces include HDMI v1.4 with integrated PHY, SD3.0, multiple USB2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and SATA II (all with integrated PHY) as well as FlexCAN.

Sampling is said to start later this year. The vendor plans to make reference designs for multiple applications available, along with software and turnkey design technology. For further information, please visit .

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