STMicroelectronics SPEAr Basic Configurable SoC

The new SPEAr Basic device, from STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), is the newest member of the SPEAr® family of configurable System on-Chip ICs. The device is manufactured with low-power 65nm process technology. The SPEAr Basic is ideal for embedded applications, including entry-level printers, fax machines, digital photo frames, Voice-over-IP and other equipment. Samples are available now, with volume production set to start by the end of Q3 2008. The SPEAr Basic is priced at $6, in quantities above 20,000 pieces.

ST’s SPEAr (Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture) concept combines cost savings and shorter time-to-market of open-market standard products with the flexibility of application-specific ICs in optimizing system performance. Transfer of the SPEAr family to 65-nm process technology yields increased density, performance and power-reduction features in new SPEAr devices. ST’s newest configurable SoC integrates an advanced ARM926EJ-S processor core with two16k memory caches, running at 333MHz, for data and instructions and up to 300,000 gates (ASIC-equivalent) of embedded configurable logic.

The new SPEAr Basic provides memory interfaces supporting LP-DDR and DDR2 memories and a large connectivity-IP (intellectual property) portfolio, including Fast-IrDA interface, Ethernet MAC, three USB2.0 ports with embedded PHYs, UART, SPI, I2C, up to 102 fully programmable GPIOs and a total of 72 Kbytes of SRAM and 32 Kbytes of Boot ROM. Best-in-class printing performance is enabled through a full set of image-pipeline accelerators, from color-space conversion to raster-file generation, a rotation engine, a hardware JPEG codec, an LCD controller (up to 1024×768, 24-bits per pixel) and a SDIO/MM card interface.

Additional features include a 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, a crypto accelerator based on ST’s proprietary C3 IP, a Flexible Static Memory controller (NOR/NAND Flash and SRAM), TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing) and SLIC (Serial Link and Interrupt) controllers and a camera interface, providing unprecedented scale of integration and flexibility. SPEAr Basic’s software-configurable power-saving modes address most recent ecological and power-sensitive specifications. The device supports most popular embedded operating systems including Linux, VxWorks, ThreadX and Windows CE.

The SPEAr Basic comes complete with an evaluation board that allows quick and easy setup, design and testing of the devices. Using the SPEAr Plus600 Development kit and its external FPGA, which mirrors the SoC’s internal configurable logic block, designers can proceed with software and hardware development without waiting for final validation. Once the customer’s SoC passes the functional qualification, full production can typically ramp up in eight to ten weeks’ time from the final RTL availability.

More info: STMicroelectronics