Components | October 26, 2011

Freescale: Product platform integrates ARM Cortex-M4 and A5 cores

Freescale Semiconductor announced a new product platform. This asymmetrical-multiprocessing-architecture platform incorporates an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller and a Cortex-A5 processor to enable simultaneous real-time control, graphics-rich apps processing and flexible connectivity options.
"With this platform, Freescale is dramatically simplifying the development challenge of adding applications processing to a system designed for real-time control," said Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Microcontroller Solutions Group. "We're the first to provide extensive MCU and apps processing capabilities in an integrated hardware-software based solution, setting a new standard for the design of systems that need rich apps in real time."

The new product platform will be the foundation of a family of embedded microprocessors (eMPUs) that, along with Kinetis MCUs and i.MX applications processors, gives Freescale an unparalleled breadth of solutions based on the ARM architecture.

Silicon is only part of the solution Freescale is bringing to the market with the new platform. On top of the hardware product platform, Freescale will provide an inter-process communication (IPC) application programming interface (API). Customers will be able to use the hardware and IPC API to create differentiated applications without worrying about how the high-level OS (like Linux) and RTOS (such as MQX) communicate with each other. Freescale is designing solutions that support multiple operating systems, as well as reference designs for industrial applications. All of this enablement is backed by on-demand field support.

In addition, Freescale plans to introduce a software development platform several months before the arrival of silicon. This approach can significantly reduce industrial customers' software development cycle time and help them meet market windows with their applications. It also will allow them to develop future versions of their products with fewer resources and investment required.


Freescale plans to offer the initial software development platform for its new product platform later this quarter and intends to announce the first industrial-focused eMPU product families based on the new architecture in Q1 2012. Derivatives of the new platform are planned for the automotive infotainment market. Automotive device details will be announced in Q2 2012.


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