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New SoCs Claimed To Knock Socks Off Competition

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In a product launch embracing a gaggle of new microcontroller (MCU) and system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices grouped under the tradename BlueStreak, the company announced a brand new, highly integrated SoC that combines an ARM922T core and a hardware Java accelerator in the form of a JIT Java compiler. The LH7A405's hardware Java compiler takes the place of either a dedicated Java processor or a software-based solution, with the latter traditionally running on a CPU and requiring large amounts of memory, reportedly resulting in a significant performance reduction and power drain. The LH7A405 SoC's JIT compiler is also said to allow optimization of Java program and cache instruction streams, as well as allowing other engines to be bolted to the hardware to process compressed files, such as MPEG and HTML/XML. The new SoC packs a programmable LCD controller that supports STN, color STN, TFT, HR-TFT, and advanced TFT with up to 64 colors and 15 shades of gray and up to 1,024 x 768 resolution. Other key on-chip features include: a controller for fast processing of vectored interrupts; a USB host that allows the LH7A405 to communicate with devices such as digital cameras without going through a PC; a MultimediaCard (MMC) interface with Secure Digital Interface; four PWMs to generate tone and/or control LCD contrast; an ADC and touch-screen controller; and Smart Card and AC97 interfaces. The LH7A405 SoC is supported by an array of development tools and an evaluation board and is priced at under $32 each/10,000. Production is scheduled for Q4. SHARP MICROELECTONICS OF THE AMERICAS, Camas, WA. (360) 834-8002

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