Freescale apps processor integrates mixed signal functions

LONDON — Freescale Semiconductor will start shipping in October a version of its i.MX applications processor that integrates mixed signal technology.

Dubbed the i.MX233, the part delivers ARM9 performance, analog audio and industry-leading power management for consumer and embedded applications.

The SoC is targeted at the power and performance requirements of eBooks, portable media players (PMPs) and other mobile consumer electronics applications requiring graphical user displays.

Freescale says it will also be suitable for applications such as VoIP handsets, smart remotes, home appliances, audio peripherals/accessories and simple human machine interface (HMI) systems for industrial applications.

The processor integrates an ARM9 core operating up to 454MHz and analogue and mixed signal technology that comes through the acquisition last year of SigmaTel. This technology includes integrated power management, analogue audio and A/D channels.

An image processing unit supporting 24bit VGA displays is also included.

The processor also combines an LCD controller with touchscreen and display processing, connectivity ports such as USB 2.0 with PHY, SDIO, standard UARTs, I2C and SPI ports, analog features including audio codecs and A/D converters, and an external memory interface, as well as support for external NAND with hardware error correction capabilities for improved reliability.

“The i.MX233 provides a new level of integration for embedded markets, eliminating the need for many external components and reducing cost and complexity in a design,” said Ken Obuszewski, director of product management for Freescales Multimedia Applications Group, in a statement.

Product development support available now includes a multimedia codec library and a board support package for the Linux OS, with a Windows Embedded CE board support package scheduled for later this year.

The processor is also available as part of an evaluation kit (EVK) for customer development and evaluation.

Mentor Graphics is working with Freescale on enabling Linux for the i.MX233 processor.

And Allgo Embedded Systems has developed a wireless media player reference design based on the i.MX233 processor.

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