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ARM News: ARM7500 Press Release

18 Oct 1994 13:53:24 +0100 Acorn Computers Ltd, Cambridge, England

ARM Announces Single Chip Solution for Multimedia and Portable Applications

VLSI Technology manufacturing new ARM7500 for Online Media set-top box

BURLINGAME, California, Oct. 17, 1994 - Advanced RISC Machines Ltd (ARM) presented at the MicroProcessor Forum today the ARM7500, a highly integrated single-chip multimedia and portable system solution. The ARM7500 has a 32-bit RISC processor, video, sound, input-output (I/O) and memory control in a single cost-effective, high-performance, low-power package.

At the heart of the ARM7500 is a cached 32-bit RISC processor, capable of up to 30 Dhrystone 2.1 MIPS at 33 Megahertz. Despite the integration of video, sound and I/O, the ARM7500 still has a 4-kilobyte cache, write buffer and a memory-management unit for high system throughput.

One-Chip Solution for Portable and Multimedia Consumer Products

The device is being manufactured on VLSI Technology Inc's 0.6 micron two-layer metal process. The high performance, small size, low power and low cost of the ARM7500 make it an ideal solution for portable and multimedia applications. Conventional RISC chips are typically too big and too expensive for portable and consumer applications.

"The ARM7500 epitomises the effective use of existing macrocells," said Mike Muller, ARM's Vice President of Marketing. "Its optimal mix of full-custom and standard cells offers tremendous flexibility to designers looking for high-performance, one-chip solutions for portable and multimedia consumer products."

First ARM7500-Based Products

The first ARM7500 chips will be used in Online Media's intelligent set-top boxes for video-on-demand and other highly interactive TV services. ATM Ltd, which already uses other ARM processors in their ATM server and data-communications hardware, is working closely with Online Media in an interactive television trial now underway with Anglia TV and Cambridge Cable.

Malcolm Bird, Chief Executive of Online Media, commented: "Online Media is committed to developing highly cost effective digital set-top products. The ARM7500 helps move us towards our goal of a set-top on a chip. In collaboration with ARM and VLSI, we have been able to integrate many of the necessary functions into a very cost effective package. We are also especially proud of being involved in the world's first digital interactive TV trial that uses ATM transmission from end to end."

According to Ray Slusarczyk, VLSI's director of strategic marketing, Consumer and Industrial Products Division, "Supplying Online Media with the ARM7500 fits well with VLSI's thrust into the consumer electronics arena. Implementation of our leading cell-based technology demonstrates the ARM architecture's excellent choice as a high performance embedded core for (Functional System Block) approach custom-tailored ARM-based solutions give customers the best price/performance solutions."

Key Features and Benefits

A key benefit of the ARM7500 is flexibility. For example, system engineers can specify separate clock rates for all ARM7500 subsystems; pick from a rainbow of available colors for monitor displays; and select from a host of peripheral interfaces. Feature highlights of the ARM7500 include:

  • Programmable Video - The ARM7500 video subsystem can drive large screens with photographic-quality. Single and dual panel LCD displays can also be driven directly for mobile applications.
  • Stereo Sound - The ARM7500 audio subsystem has 8-bit analog stereo sound. Its digital-to-analog converter supports stereo headphones and other output.
  • Flexible Memory - The four DRAM and two ROM banks of the ARM7500 memory system can be individually programmed to operate at 32 or 16 bits, depending on the price/performance requirements of the application.
  • Multiple I/O -The ARM7500 will drive multiple peripheral devices through its I/O control, including PS/2-standard keyboards and mice, as well as joysticks etc. The I/O subsystem can be independently clocked and directly supports 16-bit PCMCIA devices.
  • Power management - For efficiency and battery life, the ARM7500 has an idle mode (which stops the CPU clock if the system is left alone for a short time) and a stop mode (which halts all clocks if the system is left longer). When driving a LCD the ARM7500 can run at 3V for very low power consumption. In a typical LCD system design using all these capabilities, the power consumption of the ARM7500 would be just 0.5 watts.

Pricing and Availability

The ARM7500 is compatible with existing ARM development tools is initially available in a 240-pin microprocessor quad flat package. VLSI Technology has supplied Online Media with prototype parts and samples will be made more widely available in Q1 1995.

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Advanced RISC Machines Limited (ARM)

ARM designs, licenses and markets fast, low cost, low power consumption RISC processors for embedded control, multi-media, DSP and portable applications. ARM licenses its technology to semiconductor partner companies, who focus on manufacturing, applications and marketing. Each partner offers unique ARM related technologies and services to satisfy a wide range of end-user needs and applications. ARM also designs and licenses peripherals, supporting software & hardware tools and offers design services, feasibility studies and training. This results in a global group committed to making the ARM architecture the world's consumer RISC standard. ARM's partners may be contacted for further information - VLSI Technology, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Sharp, Texas Instruments, Cirrus Logic, Samsung and AKM.

Issued On Behalf Of:
Robin Saxby, Managing Director
Advanced RISC Machines Ltd
Fulbourn Road, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 4JN
Tel: +44 (0)223 400400 Fax: +44 (0)223 400410
e-mail: marketing@armltd.co.uk

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