Freescale Semiconductor Unveils Product Platform Integrating ARM Cortex-M4, Cortex-A5 Processors

announced a new product platform

The multiprocessing-architecture incorporates an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller and an ARM Cortex-A5 processor for simultaneous real-time control and graphics-rich application processing.

While the Cortex-M4 microcontroller is ideal for real-time functions such as security, the Cortex-A5 can be leveraged for applications processing of human-machine interfaces (HMI), which are primarily used within industrial or process control systems to provide graphics-based visualization.

According to Freescale, its new product platform will be the first ever to simultaneously support pixel processing and display and ensure predictable response times -- two crucial tasks for HMI processing.

"With this platform, Freescale is dramatically simplifying the development challenge of adding applications processing to a system designed for real-time control," Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Microcontroller Solutions Group said in a statement. "We're the first to provide extensive MCU and apps processing capabilities in an integrated hardware-software based solution, setting a new standard for the design of systems that need rich apps in real time."

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The two ARM cores will be supported by digital-to-analog converters, analog-to-digital converters, programmable timers, on-chip memory, flexible memory interfaces, and high-speed communication interfaces.

The semiconductor company will also provide an inter-process communication (IPC) API allowing the hardware to create applications while ensuring high-level operating systems, such as Linux, and real-time operating systems are communicating with one another.

Freescale plans to unveil the first industrial-focused embedded microprocessor product suite in Q1 2012.