As developers look at their next designs for medical, audio, industrial and emerging applications, there is greater demand for portability with superior features, such as a consumer-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). The balance between power and performance of a processor has traditionally meant trading off one or the other; now that is no longer the case. Giving engineers the scalable solutions they need to design both basic and feature-laden portable end products, Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) introduced its breakthrough low-power processor roadmap with more than 15 new devices across four product lines. For the first time, designers will be able to easily bring portability to applications requiring high-precision floating-point processor capabilities, as TI’s new roadmap includes the industry’s lowest power floating-point digital signal processor (DSPs). TI’s new devices also enable significantly longer battery life with the industry’s lowest power fixed-point DSP. Additionally, customers will have the option to design portability and feature rich GUIs into their products using TI’s new ARM9[tm] and ARM9-plus-DSP applications processors.
“Throughout recent years, customers big and small have approached TI with a focus on pure performance, but there has been a shift in the last year or so and developers’ first question is now, ‘This is my power budget; how can TI help me do more with it?’” said Gene Frantz, TI principal fellow. “The answer is somewhat simple – decades of experience allow TI to cut power consumption, improve ease-of-use and drive performance within its architectures through better process technology, peripheral integration, parallel processing, analog, connectivity and power management software and tools.”
Days and weeks of battery life without losing performance
The types of products that benefit most from very low power fall into three general power budget categories. First are those that draw current from a low power source, such as a USB port. Next are devices where consumers expect batteries to last an entire work day, and the third category includes devices that consumers expect to function for two or more weeks without a battery change. Throughout the next 12 months, TI will offer an embedded processor solution for each of these power categories with more than 15 new devices within four product lines.
- Low power and high precision with new TMS320C674x DSPs: For the first time, developers will have the ability to bring portability to audio, medical, industrial and other applications requiring the precision, wide dynamic range and time-to-market benefits of floating-point DSPs. Using three times less power than existing floating-point DSPs, the C674x devices deliver 24-32 bit accuracy and are the industry’s lowest power floating-point DSPs. Slated for delivery in Q4 2008, the power consumption is as low as 6 mW in deep-sleep mode and 420 mW total power in active mode. For more information on power specifications, see the product bulletin at www.ti.com/c674xpb.
- High performance at half the power with TMS320C640x DSPs: The C640x DSPs use half the power of existing high-performance devices in TI’s TMS320C6000[tm] DSP platform, giving system designers the ability to add portability to processing-intensive applications including software defined radio, industrial instrumentation and emerging markets. Based on TI’s high-performance C64+[tm] core, the devices offer power consumption as low as 6 mW in deep-sleep mode and 415 mW total power in active mode. Through pin-for-pin and software compatibility with various OMAP-L1x and C674x products, the C640x processors offer a new level of scalability and will be available in early 2009. For more information on power specifications, see the product bulletin at www.ti.com/c640xpb.
- Multimedia performance and low power with OMAP-L1x applications processors: Enabling developers to integrate feature-rich GUIs as well as networking and touch screen capabilities into their portable designs, the new OMAP-L1x product line includes ARM9 and ARM9-plus-DSP architectures. The new devices will offer a variety of peripherals for networking and will run Linux or the DSP/BIOS[tm] real-time kernel for operating system flexibility. The product line is also pin-for-pin compatible with various devices in the new C674x and C640x product lines. Power consumption ranges from 6 mW in deep-sleep mode to 435 mW total power in active mode, and the devices will be available in early 2009. For more information on power specifications, see the product bulletin at www.ti.com/omapl1xpb.
- Maximize battery life with TMS320C550x: For developers requiring the longest battery life, TI will be extending the low-power leadership of its TMS320C5000[tm] DSP platform with new C550x devices. The new DSPs include large on-chip memory as well as an optimized FFT coprocessor for faster analysis and still cut core power consumption levels to 6.8 µW in deep-sleep mode and 46 mW total power in active mode – half the power of existing C5000 devices. Applications such as multi-parameter medical, noise reduction headphones and portable audio/music recording will benefit from the performance and peripheral scheme of the C550x DSPs. The devices will be available in Q1 2009. For more information on power specifications, see the product bulletin at www.ti.com/c550xpb.
Need for portability addressed with decades of low power experience
TI’s new processor product lines are rooted in the company’s 30-year-old commitment to addressing low-power design challenges, which has been demonstrated with innovations like the MSP430, the industry’s lowest power MCU; the ADS7953, the lowest power, 16-channel precision analog-to-digital converter; the OPA369, the lowest power zero-crossover op amp; and a complete portfolio of power management solutions for any energy-efficient power design. Over the years, TI has taken a system level approach to power optimization and high performance, providing customers with industry leading signal chain, power management, processor and software solutions. This focus on low power extends far beyond the need for portability as TI recognizes the global necessity for energy conservation. By enabling products that are inherently lower power, TI is helping developers make it easy for consumers to use more environmentally friendly products.
Pricing and availability
C674x silicon and associated software and tools will begin sampling in Q4 2008 and other product lines will roll out throughout the next 12 months. Suggested retail pricing will vary by device but will start at less than $9 (100 units). Various processors within the C640x, OMAP-L1x and C674x product lines offer software and pin-for-pin compatibility, allowing engineers to start their development efforts today with existing devices and then lower power consumption and add features with new devices in the near future.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design and sales operations in more than 25 countries.
OMAP, TMS320C5000, TMS320C6000, C64x+ and DSP/BIOS are trademarks of Texas Instruments. ARM9 is a trademark of ARM Limited. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.