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Chip house supports Linux on new ARM-based offering

May 18, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

[Updated 9:00pm PDT] — Semiconductor specialist Cirrus Logic is supporting Linux on a new low-cost, highly integrated processor based on the ARM9 architecture. The new EP9302 chip targets point-of-sale terminals, medical instrumentation, security and surveillance, process monitoring, and digital entertainment.

The EP9302 runs at 200 MHz and includes a “MaverickCrunch” engine, described by Cirrus as “an advanced, mixed-mode math coprocessor that greatly accelerates the single- and double-precision integer and floating-point processing capabilities of the ARM920T processor core.”

EP9302 Block Diagram
(Click above image to enlarge)

Cirrus lists other chip features and specs as follows:

  • 200 MHz ARM920T processor
    • 16 KB data cache and 16 KB instruction cache
    • MMU enabling Linux and Windows CE
    • 100 MHz system bus
  • MaverickCrunch math engine
    • Floating point, integer, and signal-processing instructions
    • Optimization for digital music compression algorithms
    • Hardware interlocks allow in-line coding
  • MaverickKey IDs for digital rights management or design IP security
    • 32-bit unique ID
    • 128-bit random ID
  • Integrated peripheral interfaces
    • Five-input A/D converter with 12-bit resolution
    • 1/10/100 Mbps Ethernet MAC
    • Two-port USB 2.0 Full Speed host (OHCI)
    • Two UARTs (16550 type), including soft modem support
    • IrDA interface, slow mode
    • SPI port
    • AC '97 interface
    • I2S interface
  • External memory options
    • 16-bit SDRAM interface, up to two banks
    • 16/8-bit SRAM/Flash/ROM I/F
    • Serial EEPROM interface
  • Internal peripherals
    • Real-time clock with software trim
    • 12 DMA channels for data transfer that maximizes system performance
    • Boot ROM
    • Dual PLLs to control all clock domains
    • Watchdog timer
    • Two general-purpose 16-bit timers
    • General-purpose 32-bit timer
    • 40-bit debug timer
  • General-purpose I/Os (GPIOs)
    • 16 enhanced GPIOs including interrupt capability
    • Eight additional optional GPIOs multiplexed on peripherals
  • Package: 208-pin QFP

The company says, “Cirrus Logic's Nine-Series embedded processors are provided with all the necessary driver software as well as Linux [which is] optimized and fully supported by an in-house Cirrus Logic software development and support team.”

“The EP9302 gives system designers an unbeatable combination of raw power and on-board Ethernet at a price far less than competing IC or reference design solutions,” said Tom Lee, Cirrus's VP of embedded products marketing.

The EP9302 will be available in June, 2004 in a 208-pin quad flat package, priced at $9.96 in volumes of 10,000+. Cirrus Logic's line-up of currently available Nine-Series embedded processors includes the EP9301, EP9312, and the flagship EP9315, a very highly integrated chip containing an ARM920T processor, graphics engine, a 2D graphics accelerator, IDE interface, Ethernet, USB, PCMCIA, and the graphics and audio capabilities needed for a sophisticated user interface, according to Cirrus.

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