The personal computing world is going ultra mobile. And Web 2.0 applications and services are redefining the Internet. Freescale Semiconductor is addressing the convergence of these two trends with a highly integrated multi-core embedded computing platform adopted by LimePC’s newly introduced line of ultra-mobile and affordable consumer PC products.
Imagine squeezing a PC motherboard with graphics and audio cards, PCI, Ethernet, SATA and USB into a device smaller than an iPod® Nano. Imagine no further. Freescale’s MPC5121e mobileGT® processor is a “motherboard-on-a-chip” device designed to provide the embedded processing performance and on-chip peripherals and connectivity for ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) platforms. Operating within a 2W power envelope, the processor’s highly integrated triple-core architecture virtually eliminates the need for bulky heat sinks and noisy fans required by traditional power-hungry, inefficient personal computing architectures.
“Freescale’s mobileGT device built on Power Architecture(tm) technology provides the ideal system-on-chip processing platform needed to make full-function UMPCs, tablet PCs and small-profile laptops an affordable reality,” said John Wang, chief technical officer of Tsinghua Tongfang (THTF), the parent company of LimePC. “The processor’s highly integrated multi-core architecture enabled THTF to develop state-of-the-art consumer personal computing products that embrace today’s popular Web 2.0, wireless, community and multimedia technologies at an exceptionally affordable price.”
Freescale’s MPC5121e processor powers LimePC’s full line of affordable, compact computing products, including UMPCs, pad-style PCs with large touchpad LCD screens, notebook and desktop PCs, and mini-ITX developer kits. LimePC’s consumer PC products will feature one or more MPC5121e processors and a LimeOS and LimeSuite applications software bundle. Connectivity includes USB 2.0, 802.11g WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR wireless capabilities, as well as 10/100 Ethernet for desktops. Initially available in the China market, the LimePC products are planned to be available in the United States by the 2008 holiday season.
LimeOS is a full-screen HTML rendering environment or “desktop” that runs on top of an open source Debian Linux OS and server stack. LimeOS is designed from the ground up to embrace Web 2.0, multimedia, social and community activities. It leverages the underlying performance of the MPC5121e processor to deliver exceptional computing, wireless and mobile Internet capabilities at very affordable prices. To proliferate the combined LimeOS and Freescale mobileGT processor architecture, LimePC has launched the LimeFree open source community (www.limefree.org) for system developers.
“The MPC5121e processor is the right embedded processing platform at the right time for emerging UMPC designs like LimePC’s innovative ultra-mobile offerings,” said Mike Bryars, manager of Freescale’s infotainment, multimedia and telematics operation. “The MPC5121e processor continues to gain momentum in the consumer, industrial and automotive markets, and we expect to see it gain traction in non-traditional computing and mobile Internet device applications that require sophisticated graphics, multimedia and real-time audio processing in a cost-effective, power-efficient platform.”
About the MPC5121e processor
Built on Power Architecture technology, the MPC5121e processor is the latest member of Freescale’s mobileGT processor family. Manufactured on Freescale’s 90-nanometer low-power CMOS technology, the MPC5121e device is designed to deliver exceptional multimedia performance and feature-rich user interfaces within a low power envelope, without sacrificing flexibility and robustness.
The MPC5121e processor is built around an efficient triple-core architecture consisting of a Power Architecture core, a 3D-graphics processor core and a CD-quality audio processor core. The powerful 3D-graphics processor is engineered to provide a graphics pipeline capable of gaming-class 3D rendering while keeping the DRAM bandwidth requirements to a bare minimum. The triple-core MPC5121e architecture is designed to allow the costly distributed DRAM memory systems within a PC to be merged into a single shared DRAM memory system.
The MPC5121e device’s 32-bit Truecolor display controller provides the multi-plane blending capabilities to drive a wide range of display resolutions including 720p (1280×720) and WXGA (1366×768). The on-chip audio core provides a flexible, efficient audio DSP/RISC architecture engineered to off-load the CPU from audio ripping, playback and sound enhancement processing such as MP3, WMA and Ogg Vorbis.
The processor’s rich set of peripheral interfaces is engineered to reduce overall system cost. In addition to the traditional peripheral interfaces, the secure digital input output (SDIO) and serial interfaces provide the opportunity to leverage a host of low-cost wireless chipsets. Based on its high level of integration and exceptional price/performance, the mobileGT platform is designed to help drive down the cost of full-featured, Web 2.0-enabled personal computing to the $300 threshold and below.
More info: LimePC products and the LimeFree initiative
About Tsinghua Tongfang
Tsinghua Tongfang Co., Ltd. (THTF), based in Beijing, is engaged in the information and environmental industries. THTF’s businesses focus on four industry segments: computers, application information, digital television systems, and energy/environment. Majority owned by China’s leading research university, Tsinghua University, and by the Chinese government, THTF is the #3 PC brand, #4 consumer electronics brand and #4 OEM/ODM manufacturing firm in China. THTF employs 2,000 scientists, 1,500 engineers, and 7,000 additional employees working in 37 operating divisions and companies.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor 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).
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