LSI Logic is shipping an ARM1136-based core for cell-based ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) applications that it says is both the fastest ARM1136 core available, and the first delivered in RTL with a reference design. The ARM1136J-S core runs at 425MHz — a key fiber channel frequency, LSI says — and includes an MMU for full Linux support.
The ARM1136J-S core uses LSI's Gflx 0.11-micron technology. It is based on the high-performance 32-bit RISC ARM1136 core, which features an eight-stage pipeline and three 16KB caches — for data, instruction TCM (tightly coupled memory), and data TCM, respectively.
A Linux BSP (board support package) should be available soon, according to marcom director Diana Hodges. “We use the same set of peripherals around the ARM1136 as we did on the ARM926 processor system. Linux drivers for those already exist. Although we have not announced a full BSP for the ARM1136, this can be easily put in place, and is on our roadmap.”
LSI previously worked with embedded Linux specialist LynuxWorks to develop BSPs for its ARM926 based cores.
According to LSI, the ARM1136J-S core can be provided as a hardmacro synthesized from RTL, “offering seamless ASIC design flow integration with highly accurate timing models and over 99 percent fault coverage.”
The core is available now, along with a reference design delivered in RTL and including all peripherals typically needed in an embedded processor application — such as an Interrupt Controller, UART, GPIO, Timers, Internal SRAM, EBIU, and APB bridge. LSI says the reference design provides a streamlined methodology for customers to customize, implement, and verify a custom processor subsystem for integration into a SoC.
LSI says it currently has multiple ASIC designs based on the ARM1136J-S core in progress.
“Achieving 425MHz with the ARM1136J-S core allows our customers to synchronize the core to a key Fibre Channel frequency,” said LSI director of CoreWare marketing Harmel Sangha. “The reference design provides a complete solution around the ARM1136, providing designers a jump-start on their system development.”
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