Ultra-low power 'Whisper' architecture raises the bar for connectivity

Date
07/24/2014

Categories:
Embedded Systems, Manufacturing & Assembly, Software

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Imagination Technologies unveiled their Ensigma Series4 'Whisper' low-power radio
processing unit (RPU) architecture, designed to drive a new generation
of wearables, IoT and other connected devices where ultra-low power
consumption and low cost points are key.

Tomorrow's IoT, wearables and other connected embedded devices demand
more than the evolution of existing connectivity chipsets; they require
solutions designed specifically for these emerging product categories,
with an eye on power consumption, cost and flexibility.

Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing of Imagination, said "Many devices
claiming to address IoT today are in fact repurposed from other markets
such as mobile or embedded, but don't fully address the extreme low
power and cost requirements that this market will demand. With our
existing Ensigma RPUs, customers are already building a range of
life-style devices.

With new Ensigma 'Whisper' RPUs, customers can
create a whole new generation of life-enhancing and efficiency-focused
devices targeting markets as diverse as eHealth, energy, agriculture,
security and many other areas. Imagination is delivering the ultra-low
power CPUs, GPUs and RPUs that provide a foundation for building these
devices, supported by optimized hardware IP platforms and our FlowCloud
technology for true device-to-cloud connectivity."

Low-power Ensigma 'Whisper' RPUs, like their high-performance Ensigma
Explorer RPU counterparts, provide multi-standard support in a single
architecture, designed to enable customers to bring standards such as
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Smart, NFC, GNSS and other existing
or emerging low-power connectivity technologies onto their SoCs. By
bringing this functionality on-chip, customers can minimize power
consumption, silicon footprint and system cost compared with
conventional solutions.

Why 'Whisper'?
'Whisper' RPUs are designed specifically for next-generation ultra-low
power, cost-sensitive devices.
-- Configurable: the 'Whisper' architecture supports a broad range of lower
bitrate connectivity standards needed in IoT and other small-footprint
connected devices
-- Power-efficient: 'Whisper' RPUs feature highly optimized, configurable
hardware with Imagination's PowerGearing for Ensigma that optimizes both
static and dynamic power consumption in the cores
-- Clean: the tightly coupled modem/processor in 'Whisper' can eliminate the
host processor or alleviate its load, for the smallest embedded system
size and lowest power consumption

The Ensigma family of RPUs, including 'Whisper' and Explorer, is
designed to meet the needs of a range of devices and applications.
-- Scalable: 'Whisper' and Explorer RPUs address applications from ultra-low
power to maximum performance, and with a common API, customers can reuse
software across the platforms
-- Proven: Ensigma RPUs are shipping today in numerous low-power audio and
connectivity devices with a growing range of designs also in the pipeline
-- Complete: to reduce customers' time to market, Ensigma RPUs are uniquely
provided as end-to-end offerings including RF if needed, and
certifications

Connected Processor IP Platform
For IoT and other next-generation connected applications, customers can
benefit from the combination of Ensigma RPUs and MIPS CPUs - the
industry's smallest and highest performance embedded 32-bit CPUs.
Together, these flexible, scalable cores are designed to revolutionize
IoT applications by delivering the only truly embedded Connected
Processor IP Platform. With hardware virtualization and multi-context
security across the MIPS Warrior range of CPUs, these cores are
designed to deliver to the emerging requirements of modern systems and
add even more benefits. Customers can also leverage Imagination's
FlowCloud device-to-cloud platform to create complete IoT/cloud
solutions.

According to King-Smith, "with Imagination's Connected Processor IP Platform,
customers can leverage an industry standard CPU with a broad array of
software and tightly integrated communications. We believe this is a
unique and powerful offering for the industry."

Availability
Imagination will start to roll out a line of Ensigma 'Whisper' cores in
Q4 2014.

Imagination Technologies

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