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Multimedia processor gains Linux BSP

Feb 8, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 16 views

STMicroelectronics (ST) announced a Linux-based board support package (BSP) for an ARM9-based SoC (system-on-chip) with lots of integrated media processing and graphics engines. Trolltech's Qtopia application framework for Linux is also available for the STn8815 SoC, which targets smart phones, wireless PDAs, Internet appliances, and car entertainment systems.

Based on ST's distributed-processing architecture, the Nomadik STn8815 is based on a 393MHz ARM926EJ processor core with an MMU (memory management unit), 16KB of data and instruction caches, and 128KB of level-2 cache. It integrates dedicated on-chip imaging and graphics processors, along with cryptographic engines and “smart” multimedia accelerators aimed at reducing power consumption compared to software-based codecs. Similar software-compatible chips in the Nomadik family include the Nomadik STn8810 and STn8811A12.

Nomadik STn8815 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

The new Linux BSP is said to integrate multimedia codecs for MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, and JPEG, as well as drivers for embedded peripherals like Bluetooth, WiFi, camera, video output, and power management. BSPs are also available for Symbian OS/S60, Windows Mobile, and Windows Embedded CE as well.

Trolltech's Qtopia stack is available in a variety of flavors targeting mobile phones, cordless VoIP phones, and other mobile devices. It integrates a lightweight graphics stack, along with a suite of mobile applications and a customizable user interface. Phone maker Nokia recently announced its intention to acquire Trolltech for $150 million.

Stated Teppo Hemia, Mobile Platform Chipset director at ST, “Until now, equipment manufacturers were largely left on their own to integrate software on top of the OS. The Nomadik Linux platform with the Qtopia application framework bridges the gap, providing a single-source solution that dramatically reduces product development time for both hardware and software.”


Samples of the STn8815 processor engine with the Qtopia software stack are available now, says ST, with volume production scheduled for Q2. Pricing is said to be under $12 in quantities of 10,000 pieces for stand-alone package versions. More information can be found here.

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