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Posts Tagged ‘arm’

Beyond Semi Introduces 32-bit BA20 Core with Cortex M4 Performance Efficiency, and Cortex M0+ Silicon Area

October 24th, 2014 No comments

Beyond Semiconductor and CAST have jointly announced BA20 32-bit embedded processor core with PipelineZero Architecture (zero-stage execution pipeline), that rivals with ARM Cortex A4 in terms of performance per MHz, while using about the same silicon area as an ARM Cortex M0+. which could be critical for applications such as wearables, sensors, and wireless communication, that may require both a small footprint and high performance efficiency.

Beyond_Semi_BA20_Block_Diagram

Beyond Semi BA20 Block Diagram

The company’s PipelineZero micro-archirtecture can execute one instruction per cycle, hence saving energy by doing more in less time, and by operating at lower clock rates.

Key features listed for BA20 IP core:

  • PipelineZero architecture for high performance efficiency with tiny silicon footprint
    • 3.04 DMIPs/MHz (vs ARM Cortex M4: 1.25 DMIPS/MHz)
    • 3.41 Coremarks/MHz (vs ARM Cortex M4: 3.40 CoreMarks/MHz)
    • 2µW/MHz (vs ARM Cortex M0+: 3µW/MHz)
    • 10K gates (0.01mm2) in 9-track 40G (vs 0.009mm2 for ARM Cortex M0+)
  • BA2 ISA Extreme Code Density for less instruction fetching energy usage
  • Interconnect – 32-bit wide AMBA AXI4-lite bus
  • Advanced power management
    • Dynamic clock gating and power shut-off of unused units
    • Software- and hardware-controlled clock frequency
    • Wake-up on tick timer or external interrupt
  • Optional Processor Units
    • Programmable Vectored Interrupt Controller Unit
    • Memory Protection Unit
    • Timer Unit
    • Debug Unit
      • MDB support
      • Trace port support
    • ROM Patching Unit
    • IEEE-754 compliant Floating Point Unit
    • Hardware Multiplier/Divider
  • Peripherals include GPIO, UART, Real-Time Clock, Timers, I2C, and SPI
  • Memory controllers, interconnects, and more

Beyond_BA20_vs_ARM_Cortex_M BA20 Processor IP Core, and peripherals IP are available now in RTL source code (Verilog) or FPGA netlists, and BeyondStudio Eclipse-based IDE for Windows or Linux can be used for software development. The company can also provide reference design boards with JTAG and serial debug/trace for both CPU and system, but no details have been provided about these hardware platforms.

As with all Beyond Semi processor Core, BA20 is royalty-free, and only a one-time license needs to be purchased. Further details can be found on Beyond Semi BA20 PilelineZero Embedded Processor page.

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Categories: Beyond Semi BAxx Tags: arm, beyond semi, mcu

Samsung Officially Announces Exynos 7 Octa big.LITTLE ARM Cortex A53/A57 Processor

October 16th, 2014 7 comments

Samsung started to commit code related to Exynos 7 processor to mainline kernel in August, but at the time details were scarce, and many tech websites referred to a Exynos 5433 64-bit processor from Samsung. Exynos 5433 for a Cortex A53/A57 SoC did not make much sense as the company recently announced Exynos 5430 based on Cortex A15 and A7 cores, so finally Exynos 5433 has been renamed to Exynos 7 Octa.

Exynos_7_OctaHere’s what we know about Exynos 7 Octa from information on Exynos 7 Octa page and an older Anandtech article about Exynos 5433:

  • CPU – 4x Cortex A57 cores @ 1.9 GHz , 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.3 GHz
  • GPU – Mali-T760 @ 700 MHz
  • Memory Controller – 2x 32-bit @ 825MHz (13.2GB/s b/w)
  • Display – Up to WQHD (2560 x 1440) / WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolutions
  • Video – Advanced multimedia format codec (MFC) including support for H.265/HEVC @ 60 fps
  • Camera – Up to 16 MP 30fps rear camera, Up to 5MP / 30 fps front-facing camera, with dual ISP allowing for simultaneous video recording.
  • Process – 20 nm HKMG

A57 cores are said to provide 57% more performance than the A15 cores found in Exynos 5 Octa processors, whereas. Mali-T760 GPU should deliver up to 74% enhanced graphics performance over Mali-T628 used in Exynos 5 Octa.

Samsung Exynos 7 is used in the international version of the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.

Via G for Games.

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Allwinner H8 Octa-core Processor is Designed for Game Consoles and OTT Boxes

October 10th, 2014 7 comments

Allwinner Technology has just introduced its new octa-core H8 System on Chip (SoC) for “high-end” gaming consoles and video OTT (over-the-top) boxes, right before the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place on October 13-16. The processor feature eight Cortex A7 cores clocked at up to 2.0 GHz, coupled with Imagination Technology PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ 700 MHz with support for OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1 APIs. 

Allwinner_logoOther key features includes:

  • Multi-format 1080p@60fps video processing including H.265/HEVC codec.
  • HDMI video output up to 1080P@60fps, with HDCP 2.0 support; support HDMI CEC
  • Integrated 8M image signal processor
  • USB – USB Host, and USB dual-role interfaces
  • Gigabit Ethernet MAC
  • Three SD/MMC controllers
  • SmartColor technology to deliver higher image quality and better visual effects
  • Manufactured with 28nm HPC (High-Performance Compact) process by TSMC.

We don’t have the full details, but it does look very similar to Allwinner A83T announced last month, but except of focusing on tablets, H8 focuses on Android TV boxes and game consoles. Interestingly, they’ve chosen not to include 4K UHD support in their SoC.

OTT boxes powered by Allwinner H8 are scheduled to hit the market in Q4 2014. That schedule might be a little optimistic, since H8 devices are still nowhere to be seen on Alibaba, or anywhere else on the web for that matter.

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Linux 3.17 Released

October 9th, 2014 5 comments

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.17 on Sunday:

So the past week was fairly calm, and so I have no qualms about releasing 3.17 on the normal schedule (as opposed to the optimistic “maybe I can release it one week early” schedule that was not to be).

However, I now have travel coming up – something I hoped to avoid when I was hoping for releasing early. Which means that while 3.17 is out, I’m not going to be merging stuff very actively next week, and the week after that is LinuxCon EU…

What that means is that depending on how you want to see it, the 3.18 merge window will either be three weeks, or alternatively just have a rather slow start. I don’t mind getting pull requests starting now (in fact, I have a couple already pending in my inbox), but I likely won’t start processing them for a week.

Anyway, back to 3.17. Nothing major happened during the last week, as you can see from the appended shortlog. Mostly drivers (i915, nouveau, ethernet, scsi, sound) and some networking fixes. With some misc noise all over.

Go out and test,

Linus

Kernel 3.16 added Nouveau drivers for GK20A GPU (Tegra K1), ARM64/EFI boot, improved support for Xen, KVM, EFI, NFS, as well as various changed to networking, and more…  Some noticeable changes for Linux 3.17:

  • Gamepads – Added Microsoft Xbox One controller support, improvements to Sony SIXAXIS support
  • Toshiba “Active Protection Sensor” support which stops your harddrive from spinning when the accelerator detects your laptop is in free fall…
  • “Cross-thread filter setting” for secure computing facility:
        int seccomp(unsigned int operation, unsigned int flag, const char *args);
    

    See manpage for details.

  • Enhanced AMD Radeon R9 290 support
  • Miscellaneous Nouveau driver improvements, including Kepler GPU fixes

New features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture include:

  • AllWinner
    • A10/A20 – IR driver
    • A31 – PIO/R_PIO external interrupts, DMAengine, GMAC
    • A23: Timers, UARTs, initial bringup, Basic clocks,  PIO/R_PIO drivers
    • New boards: ba10-tvbox; Merrii A31 Hummingbird; pcDuino V3
  • Rockchip
    • Enabled RK3288 SoC support
    • Added RK3xxx I2S controller, RK3288 clock controller, RK3066 and RK3188 clock driver.
    • Added RK3288 evaluation boards
  • Added basic support for Mediatek MT6589 SoCs
  • NEON implementation of crypto algorithms (SHA1; SHA512).
  • Marvell Kirkwood now fully “device tree-ified”, mach-kirkwood directory deleted
  • Added APM X-Gene SoC ethernet driver support.
  • Various changes for Broadcom BCM7xxx STB SoCs, Fresscale i.MX, Samsung Exynos & S5PV210, Nvidia Tegra, Renesas SH and TI AM43xx SoCs.
  • ARM64 / ARMv8 – Added 48-bit adress space, CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR (GCC’s -fstack-protector), audit support, and context tracking

I’ve also been asked about MIPS changes last time, so here it is:

  • Add Loongson-3B support
  • Add NUMA support for Loongson-3
  • BCM47XX: Detect more then 128 MiB of RAM (HIGHMEM)
  • BCM47XX: add Microsoft MN-700 and Asus WL500G
  • Support CPU topology files in sysfs
  • kernel: cpu-probe: Add support for the HardWare Table Walker
  • perf: Add hardware events for P5600

Further details on Linux 3.17 changes will soon be available on Kernelnewbies.org. For more details about ARM changes, remember to also check ARM architecture and drivers sections.

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ARM Announces mbed OS for ARM Cortex-M Micro-controllers and mbed Device Server for the Cloud

October 2nd, 2014 1 comment

ARM has just announced two new software products for mbed development boards at ARM Techcon 2014: mbed OS, an operating system for Cortex-M MCUs, and mbed Device Server to handle IoT data in the cloud. Together with existing mbed hardware, these form what ARM now calls mbed IoT Device Platform.

mbed_OS_Architecture

mbed OS Architecture

mbed OS is a free operating system for ARM Cortex-M processor with security, communication and device management features necessary to enable IoT devices. It will provide a C++ application framework, and the software stack includes support for Bluetooth Smart, 2G, 3G, LTE and CDMA cellular technologies, Thread, Wi-Fi, 802.15.4 / 6LoWPAN,  TLS/DTLS, CoAP, HTTP, MQTT and Lightweight M2M.

No need to look for your mbed board, planning to try it out just yet however, as mbed OS (alpha) will be available to partners in Q4 2014, and there will be alpha and beta releases during the course of 2015, before the official mbed 3.0 OS release at ARM Techcon 2015.

mbed Device Server Architecture

mbed Device Server Architecture

mbed Device Server will be a licensable software solution enabling cloud service providers to securely connect and manage IoT devices running mbed OS. It will be a bridge between IoT devices distributing “little data” and cloud frameworks crunching “big data” for analysis. Supported protocol include CoAP, CoaP-SMS, CoAP-MQ, HTTP, MQTT, DTLS, TLS for communication with the IoT devices, and mbed REST API will be used to communicate with the cloud infrastructure. The main advantage of mbed Device Server is that it will allow for a common unified infrastructure relying on open standards to gather and manage IoT data and devices.

More details are available on mbed website’s mbed OS and mbed Device Server pages.

Via Liliputing and AnandTech.

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STMicro STM32F4 (Cortex M4) vs STM32F7 (Cortex M7) Graphics Demo

October 2nd, 2014 No comments

STMicro announced their latest STM32F7 micro-controller family based on ARM Cortex M7 last week. As ARM Techcon 2014 is now taking place, the company has uploaded an infomercial on their YouTube account, where STMicro and ARM representatives are interviewed about the new family, and talk about its performance, power consumption, target applications, business prospects, and so on. But there’s also an a short demo with two development kits one with a STM32F4 cortex M4 micro-controller, and the other with a STM32F7 micro-controllers. Since both MCU families are pin-to-pin compatible, the hardware is identical except for the MCU.

Both kits are pre-loaded with a 3D graphics demo (ray tracer), and the board with STM32F7 completes the demo in about half the time of the one with STM32F439, allegedly with about the same power consumption (7 coremarks / mW). The video is about 8 minutes long, and the demo starts at 1:25.

STMicro is only working with selected partners for now, and full mass production is scheduled for early Q2 2015.

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Linaro 14.09 Release with Kernel 3.17 and Android 4.4.4

September 27th, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.09 has just been released with Linux kernel 3.17-rc4 (baseline), Linux 3.10.54 & 3.14.19 (LSK), and Android 4.4.2 & 4.4.4.

Linaro has kept working on their member boards such as IFC6410 (Qualcomm), D01 (Huawei/Hisilicon), Ardnale (Samsung), and Juno (ARM). They’ve also announced they’ll change the tools to build GCC by using cbuild2 instead of cbuild1 for next release, and they’ve enabled a build with gcov (for code coverage analysis) which may mean they’ll work on reducing the kernel size by getting rid off unused code. I’ve also noticed the Arndale and Arndale Octa Ubuntu images are now based on Linux LSK with Mali GPU support since last month.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.17-rc4-2014.09
    • GATOR version 5.19
    • updated topic from Qualcomm LT (ifc6410 board support) and HiSilicon LT
    • updated Versatile Express ARM64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models, Juno) from ARM LT.
    • updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • updated LLVM topic (follows the community llvmlinux-latest branch)
    • Big endian support (the 2014.05 topic version rebased to 3.17 kernel)
    • config fragments changes – added gcov config fragment, disabled DRM_EXYNOS_IOMMU to work around boot failure on Arndale
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.09
    • based on GCC 4.9 and updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases: Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, and Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • This will be the last release done with cbuild1 and crosstool-ng. Next releases will be done with cbuild2. Official support for very old host environments will be dropped.
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 14.09 built with Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09.
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.09
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, integrated Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • imported Linaro eglibc 2.19 into meta-linaro after OE-core switched to glibc 2.20
    • fixed shadow securetty for Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics SoCs
    • upstreaming – fixed libpng on aarch64 (neon symbol), updated PM QA to 0.4.14, updated libunwind to include aarch64 support
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.09
    • added linux-tools (perf standalone, splitted from kernel build)
    • updated packages: Juno firmware 0.8.1, LSK 3.10.55/3.14.19 and linux-linaro 3.17-rc4 kernels.
  • A gcov enabled build has been added
  • Linaro builds of the Android NDK have been updated to current upstream sources and current Linaro toolchain component releases.
  • Standalone Android toolchain binary builds now use Linaro binutils for improved armv8 support.

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1409/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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