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Power-sipping SoC revs to 700MHz

Jan 9, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

RMI Corporation says it is now shipping a 700MHz version of its Au1250 Media Processor, along with a Linux-compatible development board (pictured at left). Previously clocked from 400MHz to 600MHz, the power-thrifty SoC (system-on-chip) now offers DVD-quality playback while running other tasks, says RMI.

First announced in January 2007, the Au1250 shipped in production quantities last June. An on-chip media acceleration engine provides hardware-based D1 (up to 720 x 480) video processing, making it ideally suited for use in PMPs, according to RMI.

RMI originally touted the Au1250 as being able to play D1 video while using under 500mW. At 700MHz, says RMI — and while using under 700mW of power — it can simultaneously play digital video at 2Mbps, D1 resolution, while also enabling active IDE hard drive and display usage and keeping all on-chip peripherals active except for USB 2.0 ports.

A block diagram of RMI's Au1250

The previous versions of the Au1250, ranging from 400MHz to 600MHz, remain in production. All the Au1250 models offer the following features:

  • Hardware acceleration for MPEG, DivX, H.263, and WMV9
  • Support for DDR1 and DDR2 memories
  • Integrated media acceleration engine
  • USB 2.0 host and device
  • LCD controller with overlays and blending capability
  • Camera interface and Internet access peripherals
  • AES-128 data encryption/decryption in hardware

The company also continues to support its earlier, pin- and software-compatible Au1200 and Au1210. The latter supports video decode up to Wide-CIF (480 x 288) resolution, making it useful for cost-sensitive devices where higher resolution is not required, according to RMI. The Au1250 provides boot-from-NAND support, which eliminates the requirement for external NOR flash, according to RMI.

Au1250 development board

A development board is available for Linux and Windows CE users that covers both the Au1250 and Au1210 processors. Along with a Linux kernel and development tools, it comes with PMP and Digital Media Adapter (DMA) applications; a quick-start guide; and a CD-ROM full of processor design files, application notes, the YAMON monitoring and debug assist software, and data books for each major component.

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