ARC releases BlueForm, a comprehensive solution for Bluetooth systems on a chip Elstree, UK, 4th June 2001 -
At the Bluetooth Congress in Monte Carlo this week, ARC International plc (LSE:ARK), trading through its subsidiaries as ARC Cores, announces the availability of BlueForm?. This is a comprehensive integrated package of hardware and software intellectual property (IP), development tools, and application software for building Bluetooth? system-on-chip (SoC) products based on the user-customizable ARCtangent? microprocessor.
Unlike other solutions currently available, ARC?s BlueForm provides a comprehensive package to develop SoC?s for Bluetooth products. Ian Anderton, director of business development at ARC Cores, said, ?This is the only solution which provides an integrated design environment combining Bluetooth baseband controller, microprocessor, peripheral IP, tools and application software, all pre-verified to work together.?
?It is an out-of-the-box solution where you can point-and-click using our design tool to configure a chip that is Bluetooth v1.1 compliant. Customers can quickly build a complete system solution differentiated at the hardware level and enabled for Bluetooth applications ranging from wireless access points to PDAs (personal digital assistants),? said Anderton.
Integration of Bluetooth functionality is a point-and-click procedure with the ARChitect? configuration tool, which lets developers quickly add a Bluetooth baseband controller, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet MAC, UARTs, and other features to the ARCtangent-A4 processor core. ARC?s BlueForm also includes the required Bluetooth software stacks, a real-time operating system (RTOS), application software such as MP3, and a BlueRF? compatible radio interface.
The user-customizable nature of the BlueForm components allows developers to differentiate their products at the hardware level rather than just in software. The hardware design is technology-independent synthesizable IP, so customers can gain a commercial advantage and cut costs by manufacturing their chips at virtually any semiconductor foundry.
ARC's BlueForm solution - technical overview
The BlueForm platform is based on the 32-bit ARCtangent user-customizable processor core, a Bluetooth baseband controller, and peripheral IP. All of the hardware runs on the FPGA-based ARCangel? 3 prototyping system (see separate press release) and is compatible with the MetaWare software-development suite, also included. The processor and Bluetooth hardware IP is fully synthesizable RTL, supplied as unencrypted source code, and typically requires about 64k gates. Also included are the Bluetooth v1.1 lower- and upper-protocol stacks and a range of Bluetooth profiles.
Designers can use the ARChitect configuration tool to optimize the ARCtangent-A4 processor?s caches, instruction set, registers, I/O buses, interrupts, local memories, and other features, matching the hardware to the application. With the ARChitect tool, designers can also add and configure the peripherals, such as UARTs, the Ethernet MAC, and a BlueRF? compliant radio interface.
The ARChitect tool automatically generates the RTL files and synthesis scripts for the baseband controller, processor, and peripherals, ready for logic synthesis with an industry-standard design compiler. ARC Cores delivers the Bluetooth protocol software and device drivers as C source code, allowing programmers to develop the application software in parallel with the chip design. The ARCangel 3 prototyping system includes a Bluetooth-compliant radio module.
ARC?s BlueForm solution is available for licensing from ARC Cores now, and is shipping to customers this month.
Persons contemplating designing using this information do so at their own risk and should contact their [ARC] representative to ensure that they are using current and correct information. ARC International (UK) Ltd. and ARC Cores Inc. trade under the name of ARC Cores. ARC Cores is a trademark of ARC International (UK) Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.