ARC Cores revolutionizes 32-bit microprocessor enhancements with plug-in extensions Providing capability for designers to keep pace with changing requirements and emerging standards
San Jose, CA, June 14, 2000:
- Based on the successful plug-in model for browsers and software applications
- Network, communications, media processors easier, faster with 3rd party plug-ins
- Creates an open market for interchangeable microprocessor expertise
ARC Cores, developers of the world?s first user-configurable 32-bit microprocessor, today, at the Embedded Processor Forum, announced that its 32-bit RISC processor would be compatible with enhancements developed by independent third parties. In doing so, ARC has opened up the development and evolution of its unique configurable processor to companies with specific expertise in networking, communications, media processing, encryption, and other high-growth areas. This unparalleled move empowers design teams in these fast-moving technologies to select from among ?best in class? options and enhancements for the ARC microprocessor, reducing development time and improving performance.
This concept is based on the hugely successful model of software applications that accept aftermarket plug-ins, (such as Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Adobe Photoshop, Quark XPress, AutoCAD, etc.). ARC?s flexible 32-bit RISC/DSP processor will now have greater extensibility allowing the ARC processor to always keep pace with changing requirements and emerging standards.
?New software plug-ins appear weekly, always keeping pace with market demands. Our processor?s plug-ins will fill a similar role in the hardware world,? says Jim Turley, VP of Marketing at ARC Cores. ?The ARC processor has been adopted more rapidly than any other CPU core and this latest announcement will help accelerate that growth. Plug-ins encourage collaboration, and they accelerate innovation because you don?t have to wait years for the next major release of a product.?
Normally, microprocessors have major chip revisions every 18 months to 2 years, and the processor vendor controls which improvements they add. In contrast, ARC?s customers are free to pick and choose the enhancements they want or need. Enhancements and improvements to the ARC processor are developed by experts in their field, and can be released immediately in response to market demand. The result is a better chip, developed faster.
Additionally, in order to develop a custom processor, a product design team had to either design custom logic themselves or contract with an outside expert. However, with ARC?s open plug-ins, product developers can draw from an array of application-specific enhancements and ?plug them in? to the ARC processor. They do not have to start from scratch or ?reinvent the wheel?. Overall, this not only reduces development time drastically, it also eliminates the cost and uncertainty of custom development.
ARC Cores has already proven that its system works through its many customers over the past several years who have developed their own custom extensions to the processor, with silicon shipping today in media, imaging, and networking applications. In some cases, those extensions have been patented, underscoring the significant benefit such plug-ins provide.
Plug-ins are easily integrated into a processor core because ARC supplies all the RTL source code in industry-standard Verilog or VHDL formats. No special design tools or methodologies are required and all interfaces, signals, and logic are carefully documented, visible and testable. The designer simply allows his existing synthesis tools to do their work connecting signals properly and finding optimal solutions.
ARC Cores is partnering with several design houses in offering plug-ins that will be added to the ARChitect?, ARC?s processor development tool, for easy and reliable installation. As part of the program ARC Cores will provide technical and marketing support for developers wishing to create third-party plug-ins.
Further details on the program are being finalized and ARC Cores expects to roll out the program later this year. Once inaugurated a catalogue of approved third party plug-in developers will be posted on ARC Cores web site. Developers interested in joining the plug-in program should contact ARC Cores for further information.
MetaWare (http://www.metaware.com) of Santa Cruz, Calif. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC Cores. MetaWare is a leading developer of software-development tools (C/C++ compilers, assemblers, debuggers, profilers, etc.) for many 32-bit processors, including the ARC configurable processor.
VAutomation (http://www.vautomation.com) of Nashua, NH, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC Cores. VAutomation develops hardware intellectual property (IP) for peripherals and controllers, including Ethernet, USB, IEEE-1394 FireWire, CANbus, and other standards, as well as several 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers.
Precise Software Technologies Inc (http://www.psti.com) of Ottawa, Ontario, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC Cores. Precise is a leading supplier of royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS) and networking protocol stacks for demanding wireless and wire-line communications applications.
ARChitect is a trademark and ARC Cores is a registered trademark of ARC Cores Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.