XAP5 unveiled

Cambridge Consultants has unveiled a low-cost, low energy, high performance processing core for wireless applications for use in consumer, industrial and retail applications.

The XAP5 is a 16-bit processor aimed at cost-sensitive high-volume products. Typical applications for a XAP5 processor core include ZigBee and Bluetooth wireless networks, energy metering, sensor networks, tagging and transactions using RFID or NFC, and location systems such as GPS. Its design is particularly suited to applications such as those with programs stored in non-volatile memory like, for example, Flash memory that is either embedded in the chip or in a SiP (System in Package).

XAP5 is the latest development in Cambridge Consultants’ popular family of XAP processor cores which are already operating in over one billion chips worldwide. XAP5 is a perfect fit for battery-powered wireless devices and is also flexible enough to be applied to many other applications including sensors, audio and image processing tasks.

Alistair Morfey, technology director and chief architect of the XAP family at Cambridge Consultants said: ‘There is a growing range of applications that need a processor with good performance, but will not tolerate the energy consumption, size and cost of a 32-bit core. Many such applications would have used an 8-bit core, but now these are overwhelmed by growing code size and processing performance requirements.

‘The XAP5’s design benefits from our own experience of the ASIC requirements for portable wireless, sensing and medical devices. We’ve focussed our architecture on the memory architectures typically found in such ASICs. Reducing unit cost and power consumption for sophisticated software applications have been the primary goals.’