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Product News

New-Generation Microprocessor from STMicroelectronics Enables Compelling User Interfaces and Multimedia in Computing and Industrial Applications

Integration of two ARM Cortex-A9 cores and hardware graphics/video processing delivers outstanding performance delivers outstanding performance

Geneva, May 4, 2011 - STMicroelectronics today introduced its new embedded microprocessor with advanced multimedia capabilities. The latest addition to ST’s dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 microprocessor family, the SPEAr1340 targets a broad range of smart connected devices, from high-resolution video-conferencing to intelligent displays and web-connected devices.

ST’s SPEAr1340 integrates a powerful ARM Mali 200 graphics processing unit for advanced 2D and 3D acceleration in user interfaces, navigation systems, browsing, and gaming. The new device also embeds a hardware video encoder and a decoder supporting major compression standards (including H.264, AVS and VP8), with video resolution up to 1080p and 30 frames per second. The SPEAr1340 can also handle multiple concurrent video flows (4 camera inputs available) in multimedia-intensive applications like surveillance video cameras.

The hardware implementation of graphics and video capabilities in the SPEAr1340 results in state-of-the art multimedia performance at ultra-low power consumption, while maintaining the two Cortex-A9 cores available for performing concurrent tasks as requested by the users. With its multiple interfaces, including I2S and S/PDIF, the SPEAr1340 also provides excellent audio capabilities, handling up to 7.1 surround-sound configurations in both input and output paths.

In security, the SPEAr1340 integrates a multi-standard cryptographic engine and One Time Programmable (OTP) registers for unique identification and external flash memory anti-tamper protection.

“The SPEAr1340 represents the leading edge of the embedded microprocessor market,” said Loris Valenti, General Manager of STMicroelectronics’ Computer Systems Division. “The unique combination of formidable processing power, high-level features, peripheral integration and advanced multimedia capabilities targets applications from entry-level web-connected devices to video-conferencing and security systems.”

Manufactured in ST’s low-power 55nm HCMOS (high-speed CMOS) process technology, the new microprocessor benefits from the state-of-the-art SPEAr1300 architecture, which combines the unrivalled low-power and multi-processing capabilities of two ARM Cortex-A9 cores with innovative Network-on-Chip (NoC) technology.

The dual ARM Cortex-A9 processors support both fully symmetric and asymmetric operations, at speeds of 600MHz/core (industrial worst-case conditions) for 3000 DMIPS equivalent. Network-on-Chip is a flexible communications architecture providing ‘Quality of Service’ (QoS) for the whole system as it enables multiple different traffic profiles while maximizing data throughput in the most performance- and power-efficient way.

Other features of the SPEAr1340 include

  • 1x Giga/Fast Ethernet ports (for external GMII/RGMII/MII PHY)
  • 1x PCIe/SATA Gen2 links (with embedded PHY)
  • 2x USB 2.0 host ports with integrated PHYs
  • 1x USB2.0 OTG port with integrated PHY
  • I2S, UARTs, SPI, I2C ports
  • HD Display controller with Touch screen and Overlay windows capabilities
  • Memory Card controller supporting multiple standards
  • 6x6 keyboard controller
  • 4x Camera inputs
  • 4 -bit Parallel-port Video Input
  • 2x Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) ports
  • Secure Boot and Key Storage capabilities
  • Power-saving features

Samples of the SPEAr1340 are now available only to lead customers for evaluation and prototyping. Software support is provided through the STLinux distribution and further distributions and support environments will be added in the future.

Further information on ST’s SPEAr family of embedded microprocessor System-on-Chip ICs is available at www.st.com/spear.

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