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MCU-class processors showcase hardware virtualisation

Posted: 26 Feb 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU  hardware virtualisation  entry-level 

Imagination Technologies has released what it claims is the world's first MCU-class CPU IP cores that incorporate hardware virtualisation for entry-level applications including industrial control, Internet of Things, wearables, cloud computing and automotive applications.

The addition of hardware virtualisation is highlighted in the Series5 Warrior CPUs. This enables multiple operating systems and applications to run independently and securely at the same time on a single platform. Among the range of benefits virtualisation delivers for system development include ability to execute multiple tasks in isolation, intelligent resource allocation across several guests, secure downloads/uploads, and IP protection.

The cores include tamper resistant features that functions as a countermeasure to unwanted access to the processor operating state. A secure debug feature increases the benefit by preventing external debug probes from accessing and interrogating the core internals.

Implemented in the company's MIPS Release 5 architecture, the cores boasts the highest CoreMark/MHz scores for MCU-class chips. They include an FPU or math coprocessor option that supports both single and double precision instructions for improved control systems processing. The series is also incorporated with development support such as compilers from Mentor Graphics and Green Hills Software, as well as development boards and debug probes, plus Linux and various RTOSes including Imagination's MeOS

The first available Warrior cores are the M5100 and the M5150. The M5100 integrates a real-time execution unit and SRAM controller for low-cost, low-power microcontroller applications. The M5150 incorporates the same execution unit as the M5100, but adds a programmable L1 instruction and data cache controller, as well as memory management support for high-performance Linux and RTOS embedded system applications. Imagination said that the two cores are now available for licensing.

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