NEW ORLEANS, LA. National Semiconductor and ARM are delivering on a promise made last year for a power-management scheme for the baseband of mobile devices. During this week's CTIA Wireless 2003 event here, the companies demonstrated an energy management system that allows designers to toggle the performance on baseband processing engines and power management controller chips to deliver more efficient power management schemes in mobiles.
As mobile devices become more data optimized and additional features, like camera modules are added, efficient use of power has again taken center stage in the mobile design process. "About 80 percent of the power generated by the battery is wasted in a mobile design," said Peter Henry, vice president of portable power systems at National Semiconductor.
Through the energy management scheme, ARM is developing a set of predictive algorithms that can determine the processor speed required to execute a part icular task. Then, using information from these algorithms, ARM allows its processors to toggle processor speed in order to meet those needs, Henry said.
National is complementing ARM's efforts with the development of the PowerWise controller. Through the PowerWise technology, National's controller can adjust voltage depending on an operating condition, Henry said. Additionally, the power controller can more easily adapt to variations in temperature and process technology.
The companies are also delivering a hardware interface and software application-programming interface (API) in their energy management architecture. The hardware interface will link the power controllers with the ARM processors, allowing them to exchange information. The API, on the other hand, will link to the system's OS to take advantage of its power management capabilities.
ARM will implement the power management capabilities in its ARM926 and ARM1136 processor architectures. Products supporting this initiative should be a vailable in the second quarter of this year.