Electronic Design

Open Infotainment SoC Platform Allows Application-Specific Designs

The design of mobile "infotainment" systems has just gotten easier thanks to a collaboration by three companies on a common open system-on-a-chip (SoC) platform.

Royal Philips Electronics, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, will combine its systems and application knowhow as well as its CoReUse and MoReUse programs with the efficient integration of the PrimeXsys embedded RISC processor from ARM Ltd., Cambridge, England, and the open, Galaxic/Lunar DSP from Adelante Technologies, Paris. The system will be based on Philips' Nexperia mobile platform.

Unlike the mobile multimedia platforms from Texas Instruments and Intel, the new platform is open and the processor and DSP cores used are licensable. This lets engineers develop application-specific programmable platforms. Also, the new platform is operating-system independent.

A Philips spokesman points out that with this agreement, design environments are aligned, with Philips playing the integrator role for final products. The Nexperia platform's architecture allows designers to reuse hardware and software modules for easy upgrades and modifications.

According to Adelante, mobile infotainment applications are implemented by partitioning and mapping onto a multicore architecture. Depending on the application's complexity and constraints, the DSP subsystem is optimized by tuning the set of application-specific instructions, application-specific execution units, and/or application-specific coprocessors. This leads to a very high level of functional performance as well as cost-optimized and power-efficient consumer products.

Mobile automotive infotainment systems will be the initial application, enabling the design of building blocks for car radios, video, GPS navigation, Internet access, DVD players, and display screens. The companies hope to extend this new platform to wireless and mobile handheld applications.

For more information, visit www.arm.com, www.semiconductors.philips.com, and www.adelantetech.com.

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