Power Efficient Multicore SoCs Handle Vision and HMI Chores

Sept. 15, 2014
Texas Instruments’ AM5K2Exx and 66AK2Exx multicore SoCs address a range of applications from computer vision to user interface. They are based on Arm Cortex-A15 cores.

Texas Instruments’ (TI) 28-nm AM5K2Exx and 66AK2Exx multicore SoCs (Fig. 1) address a range of applications from computer vision to user interface. They can handle chores from cloud computing to embedded industrial applications. The Keystone II platforms are based on Arm Cortex-A15 cores that are tied together using TI’s TeraNet fabric. The cores have a 4 Mbyte shared L2 cache. The L2 has ECC support as does the DDR3/3L controller. The DSP has a 512 Kbyte L2 cache.

Figure 1. The 66AK2Exx adds a C66x DSP to the multicore Cortex-A15’s found in the AM5K2Exx.

Unused cores and peripherals can be powered down. The low power platforms use under 10 W for the 66AK2Exx and 8.5 W for the AM5K2Exx. They typically use under 8 W at 55°C. The chips are designed to handle 100K power-on hours (POH). They also support junction temperatures up to 105°C.

The system has major connectivity on chip. There is a 5-port, 1 Gbit and a 3-port, 10 Gbit Ethernet switch along with eight 1 Gbit and two 10 Gbit Ethernet interfaces. The system also has four TI HyperLinks that can link multiple TI chips together. There is also a pair of 4-lane PCI Express Gen 2 ports.

The platform includes security and network accelerators. The Security AccelerationPac provides hardware-based encryption and random number generator. The Packet AccelerationPac handles L2 through L4 routing.

Developers can take advantage of the development platforms like the AM5K2Ex EVM (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. AM5K2Ex EVM exposes the features and peripheral of the SoC.

Texas Instruments provides software development kits (SDK) as well as application libraries. It support mainline Linux distributions as well as LTS (long term support) implementations. Commercial RTOS solutions are available from a number of third parties such as Green Hills Software and Wind River. The two chip families are supported by TI’s Code Composer Studio as well as third party tool suites.

About the Author

William G. Wong | Senior Content Director - Electronic Design and Microwaves & RF

I am Editor of Electronic Design focusing on embedded, software, and systems. As Senior Content Director, I also manage Microwaves & RF and I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, programmers, developers and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our template and send to me along with a signed release form. 

Check out my blog, AltEmbedded on Electronic Design, as well as his latest articles on this site that are listed below. 

You can visit my social media via these links:

I earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Computer Science from Rutgers University. I still do a bit of programming using everything from C and C++ to Rust and Ada/SPARK. I do a bit of PHP programming for Drupal websites. I have posted a few Drupal modules.  

I still get a hand on software and electronic hardware. Some of this can be found on our Kit Close-Up video series. You can also see me on many of our TechXchange Talk videos. I am interested in a range of projects from robotics to artificial intelligence. 

Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!