New applications often send designers into unknown territories. To make up for a lack of expertise, these engineers may choose to rely on application-specific standard products (ASSPs). Fortunately, ASSPs keep emerging for new applications. In the area of MP3 players, for example, Oki Semiconductor (www.okisemi.com/us) recently announced the industry's first dual-core standard product based on ARM and DSP cores.
This ARM-powered MCU has an MP3 audio-processing engine. It specifically targets the growing markets for MP3/Win-dows Media Audio (WMA) and speech-processing applications. Known as the Oki ML675200 ASSP microcontroller series, it incorporates an advanced dual-processor architecture with an ARM7 family 32-b core and DSP Group's Teak 16-b core (see figure). The ARM7TDMI core provides 32-b processing power for application-level software with access to the device's general-purpose I/Os. Simultaneously, the 16-b DSP core offers the numerical processing power dedicated to repetitive tasks such as MP3/WMA decoding.
This ASSP provides users with high performance and a low cost of entry into the ARM product family. System designers gain a standard solution that cuts down on development costs, shortens development time, and eliminates any up-front ASIC investment. Solution adopters also are granted access to a wide range of available ARM software-development tools and support. As a result, they should be able to effectively satisfy a wide variety of customer requirements.
Among the device's notable features are a DSP-based speech CODEC engine, a USB full-speed device controller, and 32 kB of SRAM. One version also offers 256 kB of Flash ROM. Its operating temperature ranges from −30° to 70°C. The operating frequency is 30 MHz for the CPU and 60 MHz for the DSP. In addition, the solution flaunts serial UART ports, GPIOs, timers, analog channels, a four-channel DMA controller, and more.
To ease the system development of MP3 players, Oki offers a complete software solution stack and a software development kit (SDK). The ML675200 offers a wide variety of integrated peripherals. Designers can therefore implement a complete MP3/WMA and speech-processing system with a minimum of external devices. The ML675200 is currently sampling. Mass production is slated for the third quarter of this year.