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Monday, January 11, 2010

Triad launches configurable array with ARM Coretex-M0 core

Low cost embedded analogue and mixed signal platform 

Triad Semiconductor has launched the first system-on-chip (SoC) to integrate the 32bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor core with the via-configurable analogue and digital functions needed to rapidly and inexpensively deliver embedded mixed-signal solutions. Through the via-configurable array (VCA) technology, Triad's Mocha-1T array  allows electronic system designers to customize analogue and digital features with lower power consumption and greater system cost savings than last-generation ASIC solutions. The addition of the ARM core allows the ASICs to become a low cost programmable platform.
Embedded processors are everywhere, from toothbrushes to automobiles. The processing requirements for these microprocessors continue to increase along with the need for enhanced, customized analogue and digital features. The  Mocha-1 platform enables integration of complete mixed-signal SoCs by combining the industry-standard Cortex-M0 processor, backed by the ARM development ecosystem, with Triad's VCA technology. Developers are able to integrate entire existing discrete PC board-level designs into the Mocha-1
Triad's VCA technology combines silicon-proven analogue, digital, memory and  microprocessor resources on a single ASIC die. These resources are overlaid with a global routing fabric. Unique to Triad's approach, all of the resources on a VCA are configured by placing vias within the global routing fabric. Vias are placed on the VCA using Triad's advanced, analogue-aware, via-only automatic place-and-route software, which configures and interconnects the entire VCA without the need for full-custom manual layout, which is an expensive and time consuming problem for ASIC designers. This approach shortens time to prototypes and time to market, reduces development and tooling costs, and accelerates the design process by enabling the reuse of proven mixed-signal IP blocks.

"The Mocha-1 platform is the first and only method to combine ARM processing with configurable analogue and digital," said Jim Kemerling, vice president and CTO of Triad Semiconductor. "It is ideal for any applications that require 32-bit performance in an 8-bit or 16-bit footprint with ultra-low power consumption. Our single-mask VCA technology provides safe, rapid prototyping and production at low cost."
Triad's Mocha-1 integrates a Cortex-M0 32-bit processor running at 25MHz with 32Kbytes of EEPROM memory, 24Kbytes of SRAM, 75,000 gates of user configurable logic, and a wide selection of analog resources including op-amps, DACs, ADCs, resistors, capacitors, transistors and switches.
Combining the Cortex-M0 with these configurable analogue and digital resources allows Mocha-1 to realize a wide range of single-chip, mixed-signal SoC solutions for industrial, medical, sensor, Bluetooth low energy, and military/ aerospace applications.

Pricing and Availability
Price is a function of package and production volume, ranging from US $7.00 to $15.00 per ASIC, with customer-optimized solutions available for under $2.00 in high volume applications. Triad is now accepting customer designs for the Mocha-1 array, with silicon being delivered in Q1.
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