Smaller Offspring for TI’s SitaraMarch 14, 2017
Author: Tom R. Halfhill
Bargain hunters will appreciate two additions to Texas Instruments’ ARM-based Sitara processor family: the AM5706 and AM5708. Sampling now, they extend the AM57x-series into embedded applications that require lower power, lower cost, and less board space. Like other AM57x processors, they integrate an ARM Cortex-A15 CPU with two Cortex-M4 controller cores, a C66x DSP, and TI’s own programmable controller cores. No competing products can match their features for signal processing, floating-point throughput, and real-time control.
Compared with the smallest previous AM57x processors, they reduce the maximum clock speed of the Cortex-A15 CPU by 33%, to 1.0GHz. The C66x DSP core runs at 750MHz as usual, but some models have a 500MHz CPU and DSP.
In addition, the new chips omit the Serial ATA (SATA) and two camera interfaces found on other AM57x chips. The AM5706 also drops the PowerVR SGX544 GPU and VeriSilicon GC320 video-compositor core. Although the AM5708 retains those graphics features, it has only two LCD outputs instead of the three included in other GPU-integrated AM57x chips.
Thanks to these economies, TI says the new chips will typically consume 1.5–3.0W. That’s a 14% to 25% reduction. The new products cost less, too: list prices for 1,000-unit volumes are $17–$36, which is 23% to 52% less than existing AM57x chips. Production is scheduled for 2Q17.
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