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Low-power 32bit microprocessor runs at 532MHz

Posted: 22 Dec 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microprocessor  processor  microcontroller 

Virage Logic Corp. rolls out the ARC 601 32bit microprocessor core, which it claims to combination of small size and low power with excellent performance. The ARC 601 runs at 532MHz (1.2 DMIPS/MHz), consuming just 13µW/MHz in 65nm process technology and at only 0.039mm², the ARC 601 will fit 2.5x into the size of the dot (12-point font) at the end of a sentence.

"This new 32bit ARC processor offers more than twice the performance of the ARM Cortex-M0 at a comparable size and power, better performance, size and power than the MIPS M14K or Tensilica Xtensa 8," said Yankin Tanurhan, VP and general manager of Virage Logic's processor solutions and NVM business units. "The ARC 601 is ideal for microcontroller replacement and deeply embedded applications, and was designed based on the industry standard ARC 600 family that has been in production for several years and taped out hundreds of times."

This is the first ARC processor Virage Logic has brought to market since its acquisition of ARC International. The acquisition has extended Virage Logic's ability to serve the global semiconductor market by complementing its existing portfolio of highly differentiated physical and standards-based advanced semiconductor IP with ARC's widely accepted microprocessor cores, which are a significant segment of the semiconductor IP market. Modern SoC ICs require multiple 32bit processors and the ARC 601 offers outstanding performance and is smaller and lower power than competing cores.

Designers can tailor the highly configurable ARC 601 to meet their specific application needs and exclude processor features that are not required, further reducing area, power consumption and cost. The processor's single-cycle ICCM (Instruction Closely Coupled Memory) and DCCM (Data Closely Coupled Memory) optimise embedded performance while minimising the overall system footprint. The ARC 601 is also extensible with user-defined instructions and register settings that can deliver a performance boost of five to 100x for critical routines.

The ARC 601 features the size-optimised ARCompact 16-/32bit instruction set architecture that reduces code size by as much as 40 per cent. This makes it an ideal solution for deeply embedded applications or for upgrading 8- and 16bit MCU applications to 32bit performance where small size and low power are essential. The ARC 601 is instruction set compatible with all of the processors in the ARC 600 and ARC 700 families.

The ultra compact and low power 32bit ARC 601 processor is supported by a full suite of development tools. This includes the MetaWare Development Kit (v8.4.0) that generates highly efficient code that is ideal for deeply embedded applications, the ARC simulators including xCAM (v2.1.7) and xISS (v3.1), and the ARChitect configuration tool (v2.14.79). All of the tools needed for development with the new ARC 601 are available now.

Targeted at audio, imaging, portable, storage, consumer, wireless and security applications, the 32bit ARC 601 processor core is available now and has already been licensed to several of Virage Logic's lead customers.

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