Freescale Licenses Power Architecture e200 Core

Extending the reach of Power Architecture(TM) technology in the embedded market, Freescale Semiconductor is licensing its e200 core family to designers of system-on-chip (SoC) devices and application-specific semiconductor products (ASSPs). Freescale will license its e200 cores, which are widely used in the automotive industry, through an agreement with semiconductor intellectual property (IP) licensing specialist IPextreme Inc.

Freescale and IPextreme are members of, the open, collaborative organization that enables, develops and promotes Power Architecture technology. Both companies will be showcasing the e200 core family and licensing model in the booth (#1216) at the Embedded Systems Conference this week.

“Licensing our Power Architecture e200 core family through IPextreme is a watershed development for the industry and our customers,” said Paul Grimme, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Transportation & Standard Products Group. “This licensing arrangement will help further extend Power Architecture technology within the automotive industry and help to proliferate e200 cores into other markets, such as low-end, low-power embedded network applications. IPextreme is an ideal partner for this initiative because they have successfully taken other key Freescale technologies, such as ColdFire(R) architecture and FlexRay(TM) technology, to market as licensable technology.”

IPextreme plans to market, sell and support the synthesizable e200 cores to embedded designers who intend to integrate the cores into SoC or ASSP products targeting the automotive, industrial and low-end networking markets. The licensing initiative gives designers ready access to a full range of high-performance, low-power, small-footprint cores that are software compatible with the extensive Power Architecture installed base and that are supported by a large and growing ecosystem of development tools.

Under terms of the licensing agreement, IPextreme will package e200 cores as technology blocks for seamless, easy integration into semiconductor designs. IPextreme’s integration specialists also will support customers acquiring e200 cores and provide maintenance services for the cores.

“Nearly half the estimated 64 million automobiles expected to be sold this year will use high-performance microcontrollers (MCUs) based on Power Architecture cores, and we are delighted to make these verified and proven cores available to other companies designing SoCs and ASSPs through our IP commercialization program,” said Warren Savage, IPextreme CEO. “Now SoC designers can work with IPextreme and Freescale to integrate e200 Power Architecture cores with other functionality to speed time to market and reduce system cost and complexity.”

Power Architecture technology is the leading 32-bit MCU architecture for the automotive industry and the dominant architecture for powertrain control. The e200 core family has been thoroughly road-tested in Freescale’s diverse automotive MCU products. To date, Freescale has shipped more than one million e200 core-based MPC5500 family MCUs with zero-defect quality. Freescale recently announced a dual e200 core product line, the MPC5510 family, designed to enhance the performance, power efficiency and flexibility of automotive body electronics. In February 2006, Freescale and STMicroelectronics launched a joint design program aimed at driving automotive industry innovation through collaboratively developed MCU products built on e200 cores.

“Freescale’s move to license its e200 core family strengthens Power Architecture technology as an alternative to widely licensed embedded-processor cores from other vendors,” said Tom R. Halfhill, a senior analyst for In-Stat’s Microprocessor Report. “Power Architecture technology is versatile enough to span the whole range of the processor market, from low-power embedded systems to high-performance servers, and licensing initiatives such as Freescale’s can greatly expand the market for Power Architecture processors. The e200 family, a worthy licensing debut for Freescale, is competitive for automotive controllers, avionics, industrial systems, consumer electronics and other embedded applications.”

About Freescale’s e200 Core Family
Freescale’s e200 family of synthesizable, high-efficiency cores, built on the Power ISA Version 2.03, is intended for cost-sensitive, embedded real-time applications. The licensable e200 cores include four versions of the e200 core family: the e200z0, e200z1, e200z3 and e200z6 cores. The cores offer low interrupt latency, low-power design through clock gating, variable cache sizes, variable MMU sizes, static debug through Nexus1, real time debug through Nexus2/3 and an AMBA AHB bus interface unit. The cores also may include Power ISA 2.03 features, such as a signal processing engine (SPE), single-precision floating-point unit and variable length encoding (VLE) technology.

The e200z0, z1 and z3 cores have a compact four-stage pipeline. The small-footprint z0 is designed to run the VLE instruction set, which delivers exceptional code density, reducing memory requirements.

The z1 and z3 cores feature an MMU and also run the full 32-bit instruction set. For applications with significant signal processing requirements, the z3 core includes an SPE and floating point unit (FPU), which minimizes the need for an additional DSP. The z3 core also is optimized for cost-sensitive applications in which it can function effectively without any cache, sharply reducing silicon area and therefore cost.

The e200z6 core, the highest-performing licensable Power Architecture core, is a single issue, seven-stage pipeline machine with all of the features of the z3 core, along with an integrated cache unit.

Each e200 core is supported by an extensive development ecosystem that includes compilers, debuggers, real-time operating systems, reference boards and application code. Further broadening the ecosystem, IPextreme packages the processor cores with additional technology required by the integrator, such as an integrated test bench and full documentation in an EDA-neutral format that supports major EDA tool flows.

About IPextreme Inc.
IPextreme brings high-value intellectual property (IP) from large semiconductor companies to consumer and automotive system-on-chip (SOC) designers worldwide. These products are silicon proven to minimize design risk and provided in a process independent and EDA neutral format, for easy use by the broadest range of customers. With a decade of experience in developing, packaging, licensing and supporting IP, our team offers a complete business solution for semiconductor companies to strategically leverage their internal IP portfolio to grow overall revenue. IPextreme has offices in Campbell, California, Munich, Germany and Tokyo, Japan.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

The Power Architecture and wordmarks and the Power and logos and related marks are trademarks and service marks licensed by IPextreme is a registered trademark of IPextreme Inc. Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.