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Signage-oriented Cortex-A8 SoC supports Linux, Android

Mar 29, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Fabless semiconductor vendor Conexant announced a digital signage-oriented system-on-chip (SoC) with Linux and Android development support. Built using an ARM Cortex-A8 core, the CX92755 supports HD video encoding and decoding, video/graphics overlay, image processing, plus integrated audio and power supply control, says the company.

The CX92755 is designed for multimedia display products including connected web devices, interactive video displays, digital signage, home automation/security, and user interface (UI) control, says Conexant. The company calls the SoC a second-generation design, apparently referring to the CX92745 SoC it announced last December.

The earlier CX92745 was said to offer an ARM core clocked to 600MHz. The company's lack of specificity at the time suggests this was probably an ARM11 processor. The new CX92755, however, is touted for its Cortex-A8 core with NEON single instruction set, as well as its multiple data (SIMD) engine. As such it most likely can be clocked to at least 600MHz, although Conexant does not list a clock speed.

HD video and advanced display effects

Conexant, which has yet to post detailed specs, says the SoC includes an HD video codec. No video quality was specified, but the previous SoC was said to have supported 1080p decode. The new SoC also offers a graphics processor with support for display list processing, alpha blending, and color key control for advanced UI and display effects, says Conexant.

The CX92755 provides an integrated L1 and L2 cache, as well as DDR3 memory support, says the company. PCI Express expansion is said to be available, with specific support offered for Wi-Fi, 3G, and Bluetooth.

Other peripherals include Ethernet, a Class-D amplifier with speaker and line-out, a microphone input, and a power supply controller, says Conexant. Displays are said to be supported with a touchscreen controller and a backlight regulator.

The CX92755 also integrates Conexant's HSSD/Smart DAA interface, as well as an IrDA controller for infrared support. The CX92755's power management techniques, meanwhile, are said to support voltage scaling, clock gating, and dynamic power control functions.

No details were offered on the promised Linux and Android development support. However, Sailesh Chittipeddi, Conexant president and chief operating officer, stated, "Our Linux-based development environment and Android support allows our customers to quickly and cost-effectively design interactive display devices, and easily add unique functions for their respective markets."

Conexant announces merger agreement

Last month, Conexant announced it was calling off its previously announced merger with Standard Microsystems Corporation (SMSC), and added that it had signed a definitive merger agreement with Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital. Under the deal, Gold Holdings will purchase all of the outstanding shares of Conexant common stock at a price of $2.40 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of calendar 2011.

Typically, Conexant makes decoders and other specialized processors for imaging, audio, embedded modem, and video surveillance applications. In November the company announced a Linux-ready reference design for 16-channel digital video recorders (DVRs) that combines its CX25838 multichannel video decoders with Grain Media's ARM9-based GM8186/GM8187 SoC.


The CX92755 will be available in sample quantities in the second calendar quarter, with volume production slated for 3Q 2011. The SoC is packaged in a RoHS-compliant 441-pin fine pitch ball grid array (BGA) and priced at $9.50 each in volume quantities, says the company.

Conexant currently lacks a webpage for the CX92755, but it does offer a page for its earlier CX92745 processor.

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