Andes Targets Sensor SoCs with its Ultra Power-Efficient Processor Core


【Taiwan HsinChu】“The total number of sensor units is estimated to grow from just under 10 billion in 2012 to nearly 30 billion in 2017,” said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research. Noticing the soaring trend of sensor-based applications, Andes Technology Corporation, the first dedicated vendor of innovative 32-bit CPU IPs and associated SoC platforms in Asia, drives its ultra energy-efficient, cost-effective 32-bit processor AndesCore™ N705 to the emerging market. Announced last April in Andes-Embedded Forum, the N705 is an achievement of Andes’ 8-years research. It delivers 141 DMIPS/mw at 90nm low power process, which outperforms competing products from other industry-leading vendors by 30%. Code named “Hummingbird,” the N705 is geared towards light-weight and low-power products. Featuring ultra power-efficiency, compact gate count and the exclusive FlashFetch™ technology, the N705 caters to all sorts of sensor-based applications including smart sensors and sensor hubs.

The N705 provides Instruction/Data Local Memory interface option that allows direct connection to memory. In addition to AHB-lite, it directly incorporates APB bus interface for lower-speed devices. These characteristics effectively reduce the cost of sensor SoCs, speed the development and integration flow, and enable faster time-to-market. While applications like the IoT (Internet of Things), automobiles, and mobile devices are demanding more abilities to capture and interpret environmental conditions (pressure, temperature, motion, proximity and more), the N705 with the built-in 32-bit multiplier and divider accelerates the complex calculation required for sensor fusion algorithm. Using the latest AndeStar™ V3m architecture, it also significantly reduces code size.

The AndesCore N705 is a 32-bit general purpose embedded processor that demonstrates extreme power-efficiency. For ease of integration in SoC design, it is delivered with a reference design flow to meet diversified requirements in performance, power consumption and die area. In addition, it also comes with a complete software development package including the all-C Embedded Programming environment, C libraries optimized for MCUs and 2-wire low-cost ICE debugger. In its minimum configuration, the N705 achieves the leading-edge energy efficiency of 141 DMIPS/mWatt at the 90nm low power process with only 12K gates. Reaching up to 1.51 DMIPS/MHz and 2.62 CoreMark/MHz, the N705 stands out among 32-bit embedded CPUs of the similar complexity.

Jyh-Ming Frankwell Lin, President of Andes Technology Corporation, said, “As sensors are getting ubiquitous, applications in this era must have a compact size and deliver high performance with low power consumption. The AndesCore N705 offers competitive power-efficiency, low gate count and rich interfaces, making it ideal for the design of sensor fusion SoCs. Moreover, it can be connected to the low-speed and power-hungry flash memory directly. Utilizing the FlashFetch™ technology, the N705 is capable to run at its full speed without being hindered by the flash memory and meanwhile reduces over 50% flash power consumption in EEMBC’s CoreMark® benchmark. By all means the optimal choice for developers, the N705 together with the comprehensive software support is ready to take sensor-based applications to the next level.”