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Freescale Semiconductor has introduced an I.MX applications processor to integrate mixed-signal technology.

The company claims that manufacturers targeting a range of consumer and embedded markets will be able to lower costs and streamline product design with the I.MX applications processor.

The device will be showcased at the upcoming Freescale Technology Forum events in Shenzhen, China, and Bangalore, India.

The I.MX233 processor provides an optimised system-on-chip solution to meet the power and performance requirements of Ebooks, portable media players and other mobile consumer electronics applications requiring graphical user displays.

Additional applications include voice-over-internet-protocol handsets, smart remotes, home appliances, audio peripherals/accessories and simple human-machine-interface (HMI) systems for industrial applications.

With an ARM9 core operating up to 454MHz, the I.MX233 processor is designed to maximise performance and extend battery life, according to Freescale Semiconductor.

The integrated power management system enables efficient MIPS per application while clock gating and multiple low-power modes optimise low-power performance.

The processor also combines an LCD controller with touch screen and display processing, connectivity ports such as USB 2.0 with Phy, SDIO, standard UARTs, I2C and SPI ports, analogue features including audio codecs and analogue-to-digital (A/D) converters, an external memory interface and support for external NAND with hardware error correction capabilities for improved reliability.

The I.MX233 processor incorporates analogue and mixed-signal technology acquired via the company’s 2008 acquisition of Sigmatel.

This mixed-signal technology includes integrated power management, analogue audio and A/D channels.

An image processing unit supporting 24-bit VGA displays is included to enable rich user interfaces.

An on-chip SDIO controller eliminates the need for an external component and provides expansion capabilities to memory cards and wireless connectivity standards such as WiFi and Bluetooth wireless technology.

The part’s architecture and efficient integration enable smaller packages and eliminate external components, thus reducing system bill of materials and enabling the development of cost-efficient solutions.

Engineers under budget and time constraints are able to take a mid- to high-end platform and create lower-tier solutions or update an existing low-end solution to add more features.

The I.MX233 has qualified for the Freescale Energy Efficient Solutions mark, which means it is designed to offer customers assurance that the company has employed the right combination of technologies and techniques to achieve optimal energy savings as relevant to a particular application space.

A multimedia codec library and a board support package for Linux operating systems are available now and a Windows Embedded CE board support package is expected later this year.

The processor is also available as part of an evaluation kit for customer development and evaluation.

In addition, Allgo Embedded Systems has developed a wireless media player reference design based on the I.MX233 processor.

The solution is designed to provide time-to-market advantages for the original equipment manufacturers of connected digital photo frames, wireless music players, internet radio, smart digital metering/home automation equipment and HMI systems.

Freescale’s I.MX233 processors are offered for both consumer and industrial operating ranges.

Production quantities of the company’s I.MX233 processors, along with development boards and software, will be available in October 2009.

Suggested resale pricing in 10,000-unit quantities ranges from USD5.11 (GBP3.10) to USD5.88 in the 128-pin LQFP package and from USD6.03 to USD6.79 in the 169-pin BGA package.

Freescale Semiconductor

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