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Date: 24-05-12

Cortus' APS3R 32-bit RISC core for embedded systems with DMIPS/mm2 advantage

Cortus has announced the release of the latest member of their processor core family: the energy efficient APS3R. The APS3R builds on experience with the earlier APS3 core but delivers improved computational performance. For more demanding embedded applications a dual core configuration is possible.

The Cortus APS3R is a 32-bit processor designed specifically for low power embedded systems featuring a 32-bit RISC architecture with sixteen 32-bit registers and a 5-7 stage pipeline.

The APS3R is aimed at low power embedded applications such as wireless sensor networks, touchscreen controllers, smart cards, SIM cards and systems using energy harvesting.

"Our first processor core, the APS3, has been the smallest available native 32-bit IP core since its release in early 2006", says Michael Chapman, CEO and President of Cortus, "It has been in high volume production for almost four years in a wide range of applications ranging from SIM cards to Bluetooth LE". He adds, "With the new APS3R we have found new ways to raise computational performance while keeping power consumption and silicon area small". Chapman explains, "APS3R extends Cortus' advantage in terms of DMIPS/mW and DMIPS/mm2 over alternative cores".

The CPU's dynamic power is 11.6 µW/MHz with a standard 90 nm process and 16.8 µW/MHz for 130 nm (both UMC). The APS3R delivers 1.21 CoreMarks/MHz and 2.29 DMIPS/MHz computational performance.

The APS3R CPU core can be as small as 8,700 gates. APS3R is optimised for use with C or C++, resulting in a software development process that is far more straightforward than that for 8- or 16-bit cores.

The APS3R interfaces to all of Cortus' peripherals including Ethernet 10/100 MAC, USB 2.0 Device and USB 2.0 OTG via the APS bus. It also shares the simple vectored interrupt structure. Bridges to and from AHB-Lite and to APB ensure interfacing to other IP.

The APS toolchain and IDE (for C and C++) is available to licensees free of charge. Ports of various RTOSs are available such as FreeRTOS, Micrium µC/OS and µCLinux.

For more information: http://www.cortus.com/aps3r.html

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