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Sol'n from Synopsys targets low power sensor, control apps

31 Oct 2014

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Synopsys Inc. has unveiled what it says is a complete hardware and software solution optimised for various ultra-low power embedded sensor and control applications. The DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem integrates the DesignWare ARC EM4, EM6, EM5D or EM7D 32bit processors to offer efficient real-time control and DSP performance required for ultra-low power sensor- and control-based applications, indicated the company.

Integrated peripherals include a UART for serial communication as well as a PWM block and DAC interface for actuator/motor control functions. The optional IEEE 754-2008 compliant floating point unit (FPU) reduces energy consumption by up to 10x for sensor fusion applications implementing floating point operations, Synopsys added. The DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem provides designers with a pre-verified, SoC-ready IP subsystem that delivers the energy-efficient processing required in markets such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

The DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem is designed to process data from digital and analogue sensors and always-on audio sources with minimal power consumption. This enables offloading of the host processor and more efficient processing of the data. All the processors support up to 2MB of closely coupled memory (CCM) for both instruction and data, while the EM6 and EM7D also incorporate up to 32KB of instruction and data cache for maximum system performance and flexibility. The EM5D and EM7D combine high-efficiency control and signal processing with more than 100 DSP instructions. The subsystem's integrated UART, PWM and ARM AMBA APB interface peripherals combined with the configurable GPIO, SPI, I2C and ADC/DAC interfaces offer a range of off-chip sensor and actuator connections, noted the company.

The DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem is optimised to process the extensive amount of data in sensor fusion applications. The subsystem includes a rich library of off-the-shelf DSP functions supporting filtering, correlation, matrix/vector, decimation/interpolation and complex math operations. Designers can implement these sensor-specific DSP functions in hardware using a combination of native DSP instructions within the EM5D or EM7D processor and tightly coupled hardware accelerators to boost performance efficiency and reduce power consumption by up to 85 per cent compared to discrete solutions. An optional IEEE 754-2008 compliant FPU reduces energy consumption for sensor applications requiring single- or double-precision floating point operations. Additionally, the ARC Processor EXtension (APEX) technology enables designers to add their own user-defined instructions or existing hardware to the processor.

The DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem is scheduled to be available in January 2015.

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