Palmchip Corporation Introduces PALM-DT-8810 SurfBoard for SOC Development
SAN JOSE, Calif.----May 23, 2000-- Palmchip Corporation today introduced the first in a planned family of development boards to support SOC (system-on-chip) design teams working with its PalmPak Fast SOC Integration Platform. The PalmPak Platform allows fast interconnect and verification of multi-sourced IP, accelerating development of complex subsystems or complete SOC solutions by several months. The PALM-DT-8810 SurfBoard features the PalmPak Platform pre-programmed in an Altera® high-density APEX(TM) 400 PLD. This combination shortens time to initial working silicon and allows design teams to begin hardware verification and initiate software co-development very early in the SOC design process.
In addition to the Altera device, the PALM-DT-8810 SurfBoard hardware includes an ARM7TDMI(TM) processor, popular peripheral and I/O connectors, and an alphanumeric LCD display. PalmPak HAL (hardware abstraction library) software helps users develop operating system device drivers and application software. It includes all register definitions and common hardware interface functions.
Louis Pandula, vice president of engineering at Telencomm, Inc., said, ``Palmchip's Surfboard played a critical role in our wireless system development, enabling early, real-time hardware and software co-verification. Their comprehensive, well documented and supported development package allowed us to rapidly port their environment to our application and hit the ground running in a matter of days. The Surfboard platform has proven to be very flexible and reliable in meeting the needs of our aggressive development schedule.'' Telencomm, based in Santa Clara, California, is a provider of Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) solutions for the personal communications and computing market.
The speed of the SurfBoard is specified at 32 MHz; actual performance will depend on logic synthesis results. The PalmPak Platform occupies about 25 percent of the APEX 400 device's gate capacity, leaving substantial real estate for designers to play with a number of re-usable IP cores. Designers will need their own Altera tools. Two connectors are available to allow the SurfBoard to communicate with an Altera SOPC board, should a more comprehensive reference environment be required.
Melissa Jones, vice president of marketing for Palmchip, said, ``The SurfBoard creates a measurable advantage where fast time into first silicon is critical. With a roadmap that includes higher gate count PLDs and a choice of embedded processors on daughter cards, the family will offer designers a scalable, platform-based 'playground' for SOC development.''
The SurfBoard enables any SOC design team to quickly create a platform reference tool as well as a hardware and software co-development environment. In a co-development environment, while hardware engineers are using the Altera PLD to begin early hardware verification, software engineers can start parallel software development. For software development, the SurfBoard not only enables an earlier start, it offers the benefit of being able to run code at speeds that are much higher than those achieved using hardware simulation. Creating a co-development environment is key to significantly reducing SOC design time, and Palmchip is a leader in this area.
An audio codec is also contained in the Surfboard for applications requiring audio, such as MP3 players, VoIP (Voice over IP) controllers, or Bluetooth baseband controllers. The SurfBoard also contains an SDMC (secure digital media card) and an MMC (multimedia card) interface and connector, making it suitable for applications requiring the use of small-form-factor flash storage devices, such as PDAs, mobile communication devices, or games. It also supports telecommunications and data communications networking applications.
Four mezzanine connectors on the top of the board can be used for mounting daughter-boards containing other embedded processors. Two 64-pin mezzanine connectors on the bottom of the board, with 50 I/O and 26 grounds, allow piggybacking onto other boards. There are two IDE connectors and a corresponding extra power output connector on the bottom. The IDE connectors are configured as host-side, but alteration of one of the connectors enables it to be configured as an IDE drive-side circuit. With a power connector nearby, a PCMCIA or other custom daughter-board can be attached. The SurfBoard has a 14-pin JTAG connector for attaching an ARM emulator. It has an RS232 UART interface with a DTE connector for debugging real-time applications, 1MB of flash memory and 512KB of SRAM.
The PalmPak Fast SOC Integration Platform is based on Palmchip's CoreFrame® interconnect architecture. It contains all the peripheral functions required for a basic SOC design. Features include the CoreFrame architecture with a PalmBus(TM) controller and CPU-MBus bridge, a DMA channel, a Flash/SRAM memory controller, a timer and 16450 UART.
The SurfBoard will be available starting in July 2000. A product brief is on the Palmchip web site at http://www.palmchip.com/SOCdevtools. Delivery times will be quoted upon request. The PALM-DT-8810 SurfBoard has three ordering number elements, each of which may be ordered separately:
-- PALM-DT-8110 Starter Surfboard $ 6,000 with ARM7TDMI(TM)/APEX400
device, single quantity
-- PALM-DP-1100 PalmPak Fast $25,000 in Altera netlist version
SOC Integration Platform
-- PALM-DT-8250 HAL Software $25,000 to support Altera
Palmchip Corporation develops and licenses configurable semiconductor IP (intellectual property) for embedded SOC ICs used in networking, portable communications, portable computing and mass storage applications. The company offers specialized IP blocks and subsystems, general-purpose integration platforms, FlexiSOC(TM) application-specific integration platforms and full-service turnkey production. Palmchip's IP is based on its CoreFrame® interconnect architecture. This technology is independent of processor, I/O or foundry, allowing designers tremendous flexibility in porting IP from multiple sources. Palmchip DirectConnect(TM) partners offer a wide range of third-party IP, software and design tools that are compatible with the CoreFrame architecture. Palmchip is a privately held company based in San Jose, California (USA), and is a member of the Virtual Socket Interface Alliance and VCX. More information can be obtained at http://www.palmchip.com.
Note to Editors: Palmchip, CoreFrame and the palm leaf logo are registered trademarks, and FlexiSOC, PalmPak, PalmBus and DirectConnect are trademarks of Palmchip Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
The SurfBoard will be demonstrated in the Palmchip and Altera booths at DAC, June 5-9, Los Angeles, Calif.
Contact: Palmchip Corporation
Melissa Jones, 408/487-9661
Point Public Relations
Lea Schwartz, 970/225-3753