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Linux SDK sampling for mobile ARM11 SoC

Sep 10, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 23 views

NEC Electronics is sampling a software development kit (SDK) for portable multimedia players and mobile televisions, based on an ARM11-based EMMA Mobile 1 system-on-chip (SoC) and Wind River Linux. Additional SDKs for digital multimedia devices combining EMMA-family SoCs and Wind River Linux are expected to follow in late 2009 and 2010, say the partners.

The SDK will be offered with a hardware development kit to enable designers to test and evaluate EMMA Mobile 1's system performance, as well as develop middleware and embedded software for mobile devices. The new SDK combines Wind River Linux 3.0 with NEC's device drivers and media components. Customers can also make use of Wind River Professional Services, say the partners.

Part of a long line of EMMA SoCs aimed at consumer electronics, the EMMA Mobile 1 was announced in November 2008 but has only recently begun shipping in volume. The Mobile 1 is based on an ARM11 core, unlike NEC's recently announced, dual-core EMMA3SL/P SoC for IPTVs, which is MIPS-based. 

EMMA Mobile 1 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

As the diagram above shows, the EMMA Mobile 1 integrates several multimedia and display processors, a DSP, and even on-chip RAM. The SoC supports playback of MP3, AAC, MPEG-4, and VC-1 files, and can play H.264 video on a D1 size (720 x 480) screen at 30fps, claims NEC.

The SoC's ARM1176JZF-S core is clockable to 500MHz, and joined by various multimedia processors, including a dedicated H.264 video engine. A separate 500MHz K701 DSP is said to handle MPEG-4 and other media processing tasks. The integrated LCD controller supports up to WVGA (800 x 480 dot) LCD panels, "making it possible to resize D1 size digital content on a WVGA LCD panel," says the company.

The SoC comes in two versions: the EMMA Mobile 1-D and EMMA Mobile 1-S, says NEC. The EMMA Mobile 1-D offers 512 Mbit of MobileDDR SDRAM, thereby eliminating the need for external RAM, and allowing for more compact sets with simplified substrate designs, says the company. The EMMA Mobile 1-S, meanwhile, is said to provide an external interface for MobileDDR SDRAM, supporting up to 2 Gbit of external RAM.

In February, Access China and NEC announced a "price sensitive" smartphone reference design incorporating both the NEC's MP201 and the "new" Mini version of the Access Linux Platform (ALP) mobile stack. The companies further announced that the touch- and 3G-enabled design is likely to switch to the EMMA Mobile 1 in the future.

The partnership with NEC suggests that despite having been recently acquired by Intel, Wind River is being allowed plenty of freedom when it comes to relationships with other chip vendors. Earlier this week Wind River announced a jointly developed SDK for Cavium's ARM11-based Econa CNS3xxx SoC.

Stated Masao Hirasawa, GM, SoC Systems Division, NEC Electronics Corp., "We're strengthening our relationship with Wind River to provide customers of portable A/V devices with a comprehensive enablement suite designed to address customer requirements for expanded Linux OS support."

Stated Vincent Rerolle, SVP and GM, Linux Product Division, Wind River, "By selecting to build their SDK using the Wind River distribution, NEC Electronics can offer its customers a very robust out-of-the-box experience, while providing a clear transition path to a market-leading commercial Linux platform."


Samples of the Wind River Linux-based EMMA Mobile 1 SDK are available now at an undisclosed price, says NEC Electronics. More information may be found here. Earlier this year, the Emma Mobile 1 was said to be sampling for $30 apiece.

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