Texas Instruments To Finally Launch a 64-bit Processor with AM654 SoC

Texas Instruments has a wide portfolio of Arm-based processors targeting industrial control with their Sitara family. So all their models, including the latest Sitara AM57x family, were based on 32-bit Arm cores.

But a somewhat recent Linux mainline kernel commit reveals the company has been working on a 64-bit Arm processor family, namely AM65x family, and one the first processor will be TI AM654 “Keystone III” quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 + dual lockstep Cortex-R5F processor.

Keystone III AM654 Block Diagram
Click to Enlarge

The AM654 SoC is said to be a lead device of the K3 multicore SoC architecture targeting both the broad market and industrial control. Some of the key features and specifications include:

  • CPU – Quad ARMv8 A53 cores split over two clusters
  • GPU – PowerVR SGX544
  • GICv3 compliant GIC500
  • Configurable L3 Cache and IO-coherent architecture
  • Dual lock-step capable R5F uC for safety-critical applications
  • High data throughput capable distributed DMA architecture under NAVSS
  • 3x Gigabit Industrial Communication Subsystems (ICSSG), each with dual PRUs and dual RTUs
  • Hardware accelerator block containing AES/DES/SHA/MD5 called SA2UL
  • Centralized System Controller for Security, Power, and Resource management.
  • Dual ADCSS, eQEP/eCAP, eHRPWM, dual CAN-FD
  • Flash subsystem with OSPI and Hyperbus interfaces
  • Multimedia capability with CAL, DSS7-UL, McASP
  • Peripheral connectivity including USB3, PCIe, MMC/SD, GPMC, I2C, SPI, GPIO

Texas Instruments “KeyStone” processors have usually had less multimedia features as “Sitara” processors, and while AM654 comes with an Imagination GPU and a display subsystem (DSS) with OpenLDI and outputs MIPI DPI (Display Pixel Interface) outputs, it lacks a hardware video decoder for example.

If you want more information, you should be covered by the 12,481-page technical reference manual for AM65x / DRA80xM processors :). In case the public link is removed, you’ll find a download mirror: here  (68.9 MB). The DRA80xM is basically the same as AM65x family but targeted at automotive applications.

Some DTS files on TI show a “Texas Instruments AM654 Base Board” with 4GB RAM, also referred to as “am654-evm”.  Maybe that may also mean a successor to BeagleBoard-X15 development board, and if the company follows the same naming convention as for “X15” with their Cortex-A15 board, the board could be named BeagleBoard-X53? Historically, it has taken a long time for Texas Instruments to launch its Sitara processors after the first announcement, so the solution may only become available later in 2019 or 2020. We’ll have to wait and see to find out.

Thanks to Nobe for the tip.

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