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ARM Reveals Signal Processing Roadmap
- ARM to enhance existing signal processing capabilities with DSP co-processor

July 8, 1996

Cambridge UK, July 8, 1996 -- Advanced RISC Machines Limited (ARM) today revealed its Digital Signal Processing (DSP) roadmap. The ARM6 and ARM7 controller families, already capable of real-time signal processing, had their DSP capabilities enhanced last year with the release of the ARM7TDMI. This autumn, ARM will further extend the signal processing capabilities in its processor cores with the introduction of its 'Piccolo' line of innovative, high-performance DSP co-processor solutions.

ARM is active in markets where signal processing is key and applications require DSP functionality combined with traditional embedded control capability. In areas such as wireless telecommunications, image/graphics processing and disk drive control, ARM processors are being used to perform DSP functions such as digital filtering, echo cancellation, speech compression, data encryption, frequency analysis and image compression.

The ARM6 and ARM7, which are widely used for their control strengths (ie low power consumption, excellent price/performance and fast interrupt response), are also suitable for DSP with their barrel shifter, data handling operations and arithmetic capabilities. The ARM7TDMI, introduced last year, adds a DSP enhanced multiplier, the EmbeddedICE on-chip Debug and the Thumb extension which reduces system cost with its industry leading code density. In many systems, a single ARM controller can cost-effectively replace an existing processor plus DSP. A range of processing performance is available today from ARM designs covering 0-200 MIPS.

ARM has several application notes and software algorithms available which illustrate the DSP performance that can be achieved using an ARM microprocessor. Example algorithms of ADPCM (G.726), Adaptive FIR Filtering, JPEG and FFT for ARM processors are among routines available either via ARM's World Wide Web site or as hardcopy from ARM and its semiconductor partners.

This October, ARM will announce 'Piccolo - the ARM Signal Processing Architecture'. 'Piccolo' products will be capable of the sustained single-cycle throughput needed for high-performance DSP. Lead ARM semiconductor licensees are currently implementing first generation 'Piccolo' solutions for end-customers.

The new 'Piccolo' architecture will enable ARM partners to deliver a unique, cost-effective, power-efficient blend of integrated microprocessor and DSP functionality. In a 'Piccolo' system, the DSP and microcontroller tasks are developed with ARM's single set of easy-to-use software and system development tools. This accelerates and simplifies the development of system hardware and software. To date, most signal processing solutions use separate, incompatible development tool chains for the microprocessor and DSP.

ARM President and Chief Executive Officer Robin Saxby commented, "At ARM we strive to achieve customer satisfaction and technological innovation - the Piccolo signal processing architecture is a unique development that lets us offer the full range of combined DSP and microprocessor performance in a cost-effective, easy-to-use way."

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Editor Notes:

Advanced RISC Machines Ltd (ARM)

ARM designs, licenses and markets high-performance, low-cost, low-power consumption 32-bit RISC processors, peripherals and development tools for embedded control, consumer multimedia, DSP and portable applications. ARM also provides consulting and training. ARM licenses its technology to semiconductor partner companies, who focus on manufacturing, applications and marketing. The versatility of ARM's cores, together with the unparalleled breadth of the partnership's expertise ensures that ARM-based solutions are available to meet almost every customer's processor needs. The ARM semiconductor partners are: AKM, Alcatel Mietec, Atmel ES2, Cirrus, Digital, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, LG Semicon, NEC, Oki, Samsung, Sharp, Symbios Logic, TI, VLSI, and Yamaha. Together they make ARM the world volume embedded RISC standard.

To learn more about ARM, please see our Web Site at http://www.arm.com/

ARM, EmbeddedICE, Piccolo and the ARM Powered Logo are trademarks of Advanced RISC Machines Ltd.

The above is a press release from ARM Ltd.