ARM expands foundry program with addition of core and PrimeXsys platform

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 1 April 2004




(2004), "ARM expands foundry program with addition of core and PrimeXsys platform", Microelectronics International, Vol. 21 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

ARM expands foundry program with addition of core and PrimeXsys platform

ARM expands foundry program with addition of core and PrimeXsys platform

Keywords: Arm, Licences, Foundries

TSMC and UMC license the ARM926EJ core into ARM Foundry Programme

ARM has expanded the offerings available through the ARM® Foundry Programme to include the ARM926EJ core, the ARM926EJ PrimeXsys Platform and the Embedded Trace Macrocell module. These products are combined into the ARM926EJ Prime Starter Kit which OEMs and fabless semiconductor companies can license directly from ARM. By establishing this combined licensing model for the first time, ARM is now able to offer OEMs and fabless design houses access to the first Jazelle® technology-enabled ARM core along with a platform for accelerating designs to market.

Leading semiconductor foundries Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), (NYSE: UMC) will be the first two foundries to offer the ARM926EJ core through the ARM foundry program.

The ARM926EJ core features ARM Jazelle technology providing optimum Java byte code execution performance with low-power consumption. The core has an MMU feature for enhanced virtual memory support to run popular, complex Open operating systems, such as Symbian OS, Windows CE, Linux, Palm OS and QNX. The core also includes advanced system architecture features such as fixed 16 K instruction and data caches, interfaces to configurable instruction and data Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) and an integral AMBA(tm) 2.0 AHB interface with separate instruction and data AHB masters for optimum performance in a multi-layer AHB system. The ARM926EJ core is ideally suited to support designs in the wireless, portable, broadband, networking, storage, and automotive telematics and infotainment markets.

The Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM9) real- time trace module, is capable of instruction and data tracing inside a core and is an integral part of the ARM RealView(r) development tools.

The ARM926EJ PrimeXsys platform is the best possible starting point for any ARM926EJ core- based design and will reduce the development time cost and risk of any first-time design.

Through the combined licensing of the ARM926EJ core, the PrimeXsys platform and the embedded trace macrocell module, fabless design houses and OEMs will be able to shorten their design cycles and have the flexibility to achieve end-product differentiation.

"Today's announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to the foundry program as it marks the first time we have combined the licensing of a core with the PrimeXsys platform to fabless partners," said Kevin Smith, Foundry Program Manager at ARM. "The availability of the PrimeXsys platform integrated with the foundry program core deliverables enables fabless design houses to accelerate their design time through a channel that fits their needs. It also means our fabless partners will have access to a greater level of ARM intellectual property (IP) at an appropriate entry point while having a manufacturing route offered through two of the world's leading pure-play foundries."

With the combination of the ARM926EJ core, the PrimeXsys platform and the embedded trace macrocell module, ARM is able to offer OEMs a new level of choice and support when designing ARM core-based devices for a wide range of applications. By licensing the ARM926EJ core as part of its foundry program, TSMC and UMC are able to provide a valuable channel to designers targeting products based on one of ARM's most successful cores, the ARM926EJ microprocessor, which has been licensed to more than 26 partners since its launch in June 2001.

About ARM foundry program

The ARM foundry program is an innovative business model that enables fabless semiconductor companies in emerging markets to gain access to ARM processor technology, for use in the design and manufacture of advanced system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. The foundry program builds a three-way partnership between ARM, an approved silicon foundry, and a fabless semiconductor company that accelerates the time- to-market for ARM core-based designs and enables OEMs without access to fabrication facilities, to work directly with an approved ARM semiconductor foundry. There are currently 62 partners in the foundry program. ARM now offers the ARM926EJ prime starter kit, (combined ARM926EJ core, PrimeXsys platform and embedded trace macrocell module), the ARM7TDMI(r) core, the ARM922T(tm) core, the ARM946E(tm) core and the ARM1022E(tm) core through its foundry program.

The ARM926EJ PrimeXsys platform will come directly from ARM rather than being delivered through the foundry program. The new business model enables fabless design houses to gain access to the PrimeXsys platform deliverables at the same time as the core deliverables, thereby giving them a starting point for their ARM926EJ core-based design.


The PrimeXsys platform plus design kits for the ARM926EJ core and the embedded trace macrocell module are available to lice directly from ARM immediately. Deliverables include design kits for the ARM926EJ core and the embedded trace macrocell module plus RTL for the PrimeXsys platform.

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