New StrongARM clocks 600MHz

New StrongARM clocks 600MHz
Richard Ball Intel has unveiled an architecture for a second generation StrongARM processor aimed at handheld consumer products and Internet devices. Clocked at 600MHz, the StrongARM-2 will outstrip other 32-bit embedded processors when it is first manufactured early next year. “Next generation products are going to address similar markets to the original processor,” said Jim Spink, marketing manager for StrongARM. Products will include handheld PCs and Internet access devices such as screen phones. However, the extra processing power of the SA-2 will enable it to address networking products such as Internet switches and routers. Even at 600MHz with 750Mips of processing on tap, SA-2 will consume 450mW, a far cry from the ten to 20W of a mainstream microprocessor. But SA-2 isn’t just about outright speed. Reducing the clock frequency to 150MHz and the supply voltage to 0.75V, the power consumption reduces to 40mW, claims Intel. This results in an unprecedented power/ performance metric of over 4,500Mips/W. SA-2 also has the benefit of being designed to run on Intel’s own 0.18?m process. Intel’s Pentium III chips will move to this process later in the summer. “It’s the same process technology tweaked for StrongARM,” said Spink. “This means we can use multiple Intel manufacturing facilities.” The existing SA-110 and derivative devices are manufactured at Intel’s 0.35?m Hudson fab.


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