Looking Ahead to Designing with ARM

The next in the Virtual Conference series by EE Times–Designing with ARM: Engineer an Optimal ARM-Based System—is fast approaching (March 25). Anticipating a very good turnout, the show’s sponsors are preparing some important news and product announcements, some of which we’ve been given the OK to share with you here. Well, give you a peek anyway—we don’t want to steal their thunder:


In anticipation of this show Cadence is “working on a press release with various companies including ARM on the topic of SOI.” They won’t tell us anything more right now, so “stay tuned for more exciting developments.” The SoIC Consortium is also appearing on my panel on New Frontiers for ARM Cores and doing a separate webcast with Cadence on SoI (Want to know how to save power and improve chip performance? Get ready for SOI). Hmm, this will be interesting.


Recently NXP introduced the ARMPNX847x/8x/9x, the world’s first fully integrated 45nm Set-Top Box SoC platform incorporating multi-channel broadcast receivers. The NXP PNX847x/8x/9x utilizes the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore and  ARM Cortex-M3 processors to enable a high performance, energy-efficient solution in a low-cost form factor. NXP should have considerably more to say on the subject at this conference.


CoWare is expected to announce support for “the latest ARM Cortex processors,” details to follow. ARM certainly sees the value of CoWare’s electronic system virtualization (ESV) tools as evidenced by their recent announcement of a partnership with CoWare to provide system designers with a new SystemC solution for the efficient configuration of AMBA NIC-301 Network Interconnect based SoC Designs. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of further CoWare support for ARM-based designs.


ARM has recently deployed Isilon Systems’ scale-out NAS with solid-state drives to reduce replication of millions of files from 17 hours to two hours. Isilon will explain how its IQ 10000X-SSD in combination with its asynchronous data replication software SyncIQ can speed up and safeguard mission critical applications such as microprocessor design.


Sonics is producing a webcast for the show titled Cracking the Multi-Layer Design Code: How to Cost-Effectively Simplify and Optimize AMBA-Based Designs. They haven’t told us yet what they’ll be announcing at the show, but any engineer designing multi-layer AHB bus structures should definitely check this out. Expect to hear details about how their on-chip communications solutions will support phase one of ARM’s new AMBA 4 protocol.

OK, the following sponsors haven’t told us yet what they intend to announce, so we’ll make some educated guesses:


Not too long ago Cypress saw the wisdom of migrating from an 8051-variant MCU architecture for its popular PSoC MCUs to an ARM-based design. Cypress’ focus on programmable peripherals and interconnects are a topic that should be of interest to the rest of the ARM development community. What they have up their sleeves remains to be seen—perhaps at this month’s conference.


Synopsys has long been involved with ARM-based designs, from system-level design down to implementation and sign-off. They’ve also done some recent acquisitions—such as CoWare—that underscore their targeting of processor-based designs. With Cadence also on the program, you can be sure that Synopsys will have something attention-grabbing to say. OK, I have no idea what.


ARM hasn’t signaled that it intends to make any major announcements at the conference, but their CTO Mike Muller—who is giving the keynote—has plenty to say. I’ll spill the beans about that in next week’s blog post.

–John Donovan

About John Donovan

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