STMicroelectronics Unveils Two New Configurable System-on-Chip ICs in its SPEAr(TM) Family

Dual-core customizable chip provides reduced time to market at a fraction

of typical full ASIC NRE costs

Mar 08, 2007, 00:00 ET from STMicroelectronics

    GENEVA, March 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:  
 STM), a world leader in system-on-chip technology, today announced two new
 additions to its SPEAr(TM) family of configurable System-on-Chip ICs. The
 dual-core SPEAr Plus600, complemented with a single-core variant, SPEAr
 Head600, represents a market-unique solution that enables printer, fax,
 point-of-sale (POS) and other equipment manufacturers to develop complex
 yet flexible digital engines at a fraction of the time and cost required by
 a full-custom design approach. Additionally, the possibility to choose
 between a single- and a dual-processor device with the same footprint and
 architecture will enable manufacturers to address different market segments
 for the same application.
     "No other product in this market combines low investment costs and
 short time to market with flexibility and customizability that ST's SPEAr
 chips can provide," said Vittorio Peduto, General Manager of ST's Computer
 Systems Division, Computer Peripherals Group. "With these products, ST is
 providing its customers with an unprecedented feature set, connectivity and
 computing power, and allowing them to address the full market from high-end
 to low- and mid-range models using the same architecture and software
     Manufactured in 90nm process technology, ST's new SPEAr SoCs integrate
 one or two advanced ARM926 processor cores with 16k (data) + 16k
 (instruction) of cache memory running at 333MHz (worst case conditions) and
 600,000 gates (ASIC-equivalent) of embedded configurable logic,
 complemented with memory interface supporting DDR/DDR2 memories and a large
 connectivity IP (intellectual property) portfolio.
     The DDR/DDR2 memory interface is compatible with DDR2-666 (333MHz)
 memories, allowing the same physical pins to drive DDR or DDR2 memories.
 The connectivity IP includes an IrDA interface supporting fast IrDA,
 Gigabit Ethernet MAC and three USB2.0 ports (1 device and 2 hosts). The new
 set of features also includes a XGA LCD controller supporting up to
 1024x768-pixel resolution in true color (24-bit) and a JPEG codec.
     Additionally, ST's designers paid special attention to electromagnetic
 compatibility (EMC) by using a dithered PLL with programmable frequencies
 and jitters and LVDS I/Os operating up to 600MHz for high-speed
 communication links. Libraries of IP and hardware accelerators are
 available to be embedded in the configurable logic. The devices include 136
 Kbyte of SRAM and 32 Kbyte of ROM completely available for customers'
     With the dual-core SPEAr Plus600, customers can run two different
 operating systems on the same chip. This enables, for example, the
 integration of the typical functions of a multifunction printer or copier
 on a single chip: Linux, or a similar complex operating system, runs on one
 processor, handles connectivity and system management, while a RTOS
 (Real-Time Operating System) on the second processor manages control
 functions, such as motor control or timing of critical interfaces. This
 flexibility also allows a processor to function as an accelerator
 coprocessor for critical image functions. A dual-core solution also allows
 designers to use a common software stack, developed on one processor, and
 implement upgrades or additional features on the second processor.
     Both the SPEAr Plus600 and the SpearHead600 come complete with a
 dedicated development board that allows developing and testing of the
 customer system with minimum time and resource requirements. By using an
 external FPGA that mirrors the SoC's internal configurable logic block,
 designers can proceed with the software and hardware development without
 waiting for the final validation. Once the customer SoC passes the
 functional qualification, full production can ramp up in eight weeks' time
 from the final RTL availability.
     Both devices will start sampling for high-volume OEMs by the end of
 March 2007. The price is $12 for the SPEAr Plus600 and $10 for the SPEAr
 Head 600, in quantities of 20,000 pieces.
     Further information on ST's SPEAr family of configurable System-on-Chip
 ICs is available at
     This press release is also available at
     ... with links to further information on the SPEAr Plus600 and SPEAr
 Head 600
     About STMicroelectronics
     STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering
 semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics
 applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise,
 manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic
 partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC)
 technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence
 markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on
 Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company's net
 revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million. Further
 information on ST can be found at
     SPEAr is a trademark of STMicroelectronics

SOURCE STMicroelectronics