MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Synopsys Inc. announced availability of the DesignWare ARC HS38 Processor, the latest addition to the ARC HS Family of high-speed processor IP cores.
Like the previously-released HS34 and HS36 processors, the 32-bit ARC HS38 is optimized for power efficiency (DMIPS/mW) and area efficiency (DMIPS/mm2) with additional features to support embedded Linux and other high-end operating systems. A single HS38 processor delivers up to 4200 DMIPS at speeds up to 2.2 GHz in typical 28-nanometer (nm) silicon, more than twice the performance of previous generation ARC 770D cores supporting Linux.
The ARC HS38's performance and low power consumption make it ideally suited to address the growing embedded control and signal processing demands of devices such as home routers and gateways, data centers, digital TVs, networked appliances and automotive infotainment.
"We selected the ARC 770D for our NPS-400 network processor because of its unique combination of high performance and low power, along with its extensible instruction set," said Guy Koren, CTO at EZchip Technologies.
"The new ARC HS38 provides an exciting upgrade path, delivering much higher performance with the same number of processors, and improved overall channel density. A critical component of the NPS-400 project was support for SMP Linux to ease our customers' software programming. Our collaboration with Synopsys resulted in an optimized SMP Linux kernel, which will benefit ARC HS38 users as well."
The ARC HS Processor Family utilizes the next-generation ARCv2 instruction-set architecture (ISA), which enables the implementation of high-performance embedded designs with low power consumption and a small silicon footprint. The new HS38 processor has been optimized for embedded applications running Linux and offers excellent performance efficiency, delivering up to 1.93 DMIPS/MHz.
On typical 28-nm processes, the HS38 achieves 2.2 GHz while consuming less than 90 milliwatts of power and occupying only 0.21 mm2 of silicon area. The HS38 has a full-featured memory management unit (MMU) supporting a 40-bit physical address space and page sizes up to 16 megabytes (MBs), giving designers the ability to directly address a terabyte of memory with faster data access and higher system performance.
The HS38 is also available in multicore configurations (dual-core and quad-core) with support for SMP Linux, full Level 1 (L1) cache coherency and up to 8 MBs of Level 2 (L2) cache. In addition, an optional floating-point unit (FPU) accelerates computations with support for single- and double-precision arithmetic instructions.
As with all ARC processors, the ARC HS38 is highly configurable, so users can determine the optimum hardware features to implement for their specific design, as well as extensible to enable the creation of user-defined hardware accelerators that are tightly coupled to the processor core.
"Synopsys has developed a compelling successor to it its popular ARC 770D Processor with the new ARC HS38," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst of The Linley Group.
"The systems deployed in home routers, mobile internet and auto infotainment applications are becoming increasingly complex, demanding greater functionality and performance without increasing energy consumption. With its 40-bit physical address space, L1 cache coherency and L2 cache support, the ARC HS38 processor is uniquely positioned to address the needs of these rapidly evolving high-end embedded applications, now and in the future."
The new HS38 Processor is supported by the Synopsys MetaWare Development Toolkit, a complete solution for developing, debugging and optimizing embedded software on ARC processors. The kit includes an optimized C/C++ compiler to generate highly efficient code, a debugger for maximum visibility into the software and a fast instruction set simulator (ISS) for pre-hardware software development.
An ARC HS Processor Family Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) consisting of a processor and common peripherals is also available to run and debug software on a virtual prototype ahead of SoC availability. A fully cycle-accurate simulator is available for design optimization and verification. Open source software support for the HS38 Processor includes an optimized Linux kernel as well as the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU Project Debugger (GDB) and associated GNU programming utilities (binutils).
For software development on hardware, the ARC AXS103 Software Development Platform provides a complete development environment with a rich set of peripherals, drivers, pre-built Linux images and application examples. Additional hardware and software tools supporting software development for ARC HS processors are available from third-party partners, giving developers the flexibility to choose the best and most familiar tools for their design project.
The ARC HS Processor Family offers designers unique features that ease system-on-chip (SoC) integration and improve system-level performance. Support for close coupled memories and direct mapped peripherals with single cycle access to all peripheral registers on an SoC improves performance and reduces system latency.
The ARC Processor EXtension (APEX) technology enables user-defined hardware to be added to the core through custom instructions or user-supplied RTL, accelerating application-specific code while reducing power. The HS cores, including the new HS38, are also highly configurable so they can be customized for each instance on an SoC.
Support for I/O coherency, native ARM AMBA AXI and AHB standard interfaces that are configurable for 32-bit or 64-bit transactions and an optional FPU that supports both single- and double-precision operations enable the HS processors to be implemented with the optimal combination of performance and energy consumption.