ARC Energy PRO Cores Reduce Power Consumption by 75%

ARC International (LSE:ARK) introduced a new family of licensable, 32-bit configurable cores that will further extend its leadership in low power processing. The ARC® Energy PRO(tm) core family leverages the company’s recently announced, ultra low power Energy PRO technology to set new standards for low power consumption by reducing power usage by up to 75 percent. The Energy PRO family is aimed at the portable and embedded microcontroller markets where lower power consumption is a critical design issue especially in multi-core designs. A new release of ARC’s MQX® operating system is included with the new Energy PRO cores, providing additional ability to reduce system-on-chip (SoC) power consumption through monitoring and controlling the SoC’s power by parts other than the core itself.

ARC’s new Energy PRO cores use a holistic approach to power reduction that combines sophisticated hardware and software techniques with a tool chain and libraries. New innovations include architectural clock gating and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to reduce power usage, which are under the control of a dedicated Power Management Unit. Power control also can be extended to other functional blocks within the SoC to significantly reduce total chip power. By combining the most appropriate energy saving strategies on a per-block and per-subsystem level, SoC designers can define multiple power management modes to ensure that the device uses the minimum possible power while still providing the required performance on a real time basis – even to the extent of shutting the core down when no threads are running.

“Holistic, end-to-end solutions will help customers meet challenging low power design requirements imposed by portable consumer devices,” explained Bill Jackson, ARC’s vice president of marketing. “For the first time advanced power-saving techniques are available to SoC designers that address power consumption at each stage of creating CPUs and SoCs.”

The ARC® Energy PRO Core Family
Each member of the new Energy PRO core family is configured to address a specific application area. The ARC Energy PRO 20 is an ultra low power, cacheless CPU/DSP core that is designed for embedded applications including hard real-time controllers, dedicated function blocks and medical devices. Closely coupled, single cycle memories provide the fast computation and deterministic response required in hard real-time applications. The ARC Energy PRO 30 is an ultra low power CPU/DSP core designed to function as a complete processor solution for applications such as portable and mobile appliances, wireless connectivity management and RTOS-based systems.

Both cores can take advantage of ARC’s optional advanced modules including ARC XY Advanced DSP, ARC FPX single and dual floating point extensions, and SmaRT real time trace. Energy PRO cores are fully configurable by licensees using ARChitect®, ARC’s processor configurator tool. ARChitect produces synthesizable RTL which is compatible with all major industry standard EDA flows.

A fully integrated Reference Design Methodology (RDM), based on the Common Power Format (CPF), has been developed with Cadence Design Systems. It leverages the Cadence® Low-Power Solution to reduce power consumption and provides a drop-in solution that improves productivity and reduces time to market. Virage Logic’s Area, Speed and Power (ASAP(tm)) Logic Low-Power Standard Cell libraries are used in order to demonstrate advanced power savings features such as isolation cells and level shifters.

MQX-EP has been specially designed to complement ARC’s new Energy PRO core family. This new RTOS provides developers with an easy-to-use software interface for system-wide power management, monitoring and profiling, thus enabling Energy PRO’s power saving features to be fully exploited and optimized for deeply embedded, real-time applications. The combination of ARC’s MQX-EP software and Energy PRO processors create a holistic solution.

MQX-EP provides an advanced level of software integration with Energy PRO technology, and the resulting power reductions are enabled by the MQX software technology and the MetaWare® development tools. This combination of pre-verified hardware, software and development tools equips ARC customers with a complete end-to-end solution.

The new ARC Energy PRO cores and the MQX-EP RTOS are now available for licensing. For more information, contact ARC sales representatives or e-mail

About ARC International plc
ARC International is the world leader in multimedia subsystems and configurable CPU/DSP processors. Used by over 140 companies worldwide, ARC’s configurable solutions enable the creation of highly differentiated system-on-chips (SoCs) that ship in hundreds of millions of devices annually. ARC’s patented subsystems and cores are smaller, consume less power, and are less expensive to manufacture than competing products. ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate and research and development offices in San Jose and Lake Tahoe, Calif., St. Albans, England, and St. Petersburg, Russia. ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).

ARC and the ARC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ARC International.