The progression of cellular modem technology is a great example of the increasing complexity of system-on-chip design, and the market pressure for high quality products to be delivered to aggressive deadlines. This presents challenges across many areas: meeting performance demands while minimizing silicon costs; controlling power; developing and debugging increasingly sophisticated software; multicore debug; and enhancing security to support flexible content.

This article considers the ARM solutions that address these issues. To give a real-world focus, we present the TTPCom’s CBEmacro 3G modem as an example. The CBEmacro 3G design includes an ARM1156T2-S core, ARM PrimeCell peripherals and AMBA AXI bus. The system offers potential for multicore debug using CoreSight technology, and enhanced security through TrustZone. Low-power implementation is possible using ARM Artisan Metro Physical IP. Finally, RealView tools and models were used in software development and system benchmarking. Each of the ARM products discussed have been designed, integrated and tested together.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006