Scalable to over 1 GHz, offers balance of features to power next-generation multimedia handset and high-performance infrastructure applications
October 24, 2005, San Jose, California – StarCore today announced the StarCore™ V5 architecture, its latest processor core architecture that is capable of driving the highest performance wireless handsets and portable multimedia devices.
Key Features of the StarCore V5 Architecture
In addition to all of the unique features of the previous StarCore processor architectures, the StarCore V5 architecture introduces many innovations, including 47 new instructions, which improve support for compilers and operating systems, enhance single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) processing, and deliver highest-in-class multimedia and Viterbi performance. The new V5 instruction set, built on StarCore’s proprietary variable length instruction set (VLES) technology, provides a unique combination of DSP performance and code density competitive with the most efficient microcontrollers. Thanks to a fully-interlocked pipeline and to branch-prediction logic, the StarCore V5 architecture is designed to maximize performance of compiled code and optimize high-frequency implementations with less costly memories. Enhanced multimedia and communication instructions provide further optimization for communication and consumer applications, and a memory-management system makes it easy to support sophisticated operating systems, such as Linux®. The new V5 architecture is binary-code compatible with all previous StarCore architectures, providing protection for customers’ investment in software development.
StarCore optimized both the architecture and the implementation, to be scalable to 1GHz operating frequency in a typical 90nm high-performance process. Devices based on the StarCore V5 architecture are ideally suited to the latest multimedia applications, such as high-quality, real-time video encoding and decoding. At the same time, the architecture allows customers concerned with longer battery life to implement their V5-compliant devices in an extremely low-power process and still have a performance margin never achieved before with a processor offering this level of DSP capability.
“We are very pleased to see the V5 architecture on StarCore's roadmap, as it aligns well with our product roadmaps", said Sumit Sadana, senior vice president, Strategy and Business Development for Freescale. "StarCore's strategy of increasing performance while driving down power consumption and maintaining binary-code compatibility makes this a logical choice for some of our next generation platforms. The V5 architecture will enable us to deliver power-optimized products, while improving time to market by leveraging the software investment in the architecture platform.”
“StarCore’s V5 architecture, with its higher performance and video-media oriented instruction set, is right on target for the emerging multimedia gateway market that Agere is focused on, said Craig Garen, Director of Engineering for Agere System's Telecom Division. The enhanced instruction set, combined with higher clock rates is ideal for optimizing the number of available voice and video channels in the smallest board space for applications, such as remote access platforms, media servers, and multimedia gateways.”
“When we started developing this architecture, we faced a dilemma: our infrastructure customers demanded the highest performance and channel density in a cost-effective package, whereas our mobile handset customers expected maximum battery life and acceleration of multimedia and communications functions; everyone wanted a competitive architecture that’s easy to program, is binary-compatible with their existing software base, and is straightforward to integrate in their SoCs,” said Alex Bedarida, General Manager of StarCore. “Our technical team was able to deliver all this, and even more. The instruction set of the StarCore V5 architecture makes software-centric implementations of complex applications possible, eliminating the need for separate Viterbi and multimedia accelerators. In addition, removal of the programming restrictions that traditionally afflict DSPs makes using the V5 architecture as easy as programming a general-purpose microcontroller.”
StarCore processor cores and system-level IP blocks are licensed in a synthesizable format and can be targeted to any silicon foundry technology. Processor cores and subsystems based on the StarCore V5 architecture will be available in early 2006.
StarCore is a leader in the development of high-performance processor architectures, cores, and subsystems for the communications and consumer electronics industries. For more information on StarCore and its intellectual property and services, visit the company’s website at http://www.starcore-dsp.com.