Marvell took its ARM license and cranked out the 32-bit Shiva core, which hits 2 GHz and delivers PCI Express connectivity. It’s compatible with ARM’s 16- and 32-bit instruction sets even though it isn’t part of ARM’s Cortex push. This lets designers tailor the core to its requirements.
The initial crop of Shiva chips targets multimedia applications, including portable units such as mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The 2-GHz 88F6281 is at the top of the line (see the figure). The PCI Express interface can be set up as a host or device. As a device, the chip can be a coprocessor augmenting an existing design such as a set-top box.
The 88F619x and 88F6180 chips run at 800 MHz, delivering lower power requirements and slightly fewer peripherals. All of the platforms include the security engine, which is critical to many multimedia and storage applications. The engine supports AES, DES, 3DES, SHA1, and MD5. Only the 88F6281 incorporates video support.