Advancements in process technology and device convergence are just two reasons why Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) require increasing amounts of processing “muscle.” The instantiation of multiple processor cores is one answer to the growing demand for speed, but firmware architectures, area restrictions, coding complexities, and power consumption often suggest the use of a single core at higher speeds. ARM and Intrinsity are responding to this market demand by delivering implementations of ARM cores which can deliver 2 times and more of the published maximum frequency of the synthesizable versions.

This paper describes the need for low-power technologies for portable devices, presents a case study featuring the use of ARM products in SoC applications, and introduces new technology developed by ARM partner company Intrinsity.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 7, No. 2, 2008