ARM has unveiled a new hardware susbsystem to streamline the development of customised chips for smart, connected devices, accelerating the arrival of Internet of Things devices.
ARM IoT for ARM Cortex-M processors is an individually licensed IP block that works in conjunction with other ARM processor designs, allowing manufacturing partners to integrate sensors and other peripherals to create full SoCs.
Optimised for production using the TSMC 55ULP manufacturing process, the hope is that products created using the system will have very low power consumption, in the region of 1W. In time the company hopes these products will have battery life that can be measured in years rather than days.
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Even a move from 1.2W to 1W, ARM points out, can result in a 60% improvement in battery life.
The ARM IoT susbsystem features a range of peripherals and interfaces, including links to TSMC’s embedded flash memory. It’s also specifically designed for use with Cortex-M proesscors for the company’s mbed OS and Cordio Bluetooth Smart radio. It is possible to integrate other radios such as Wi-Wi and 802.15.4.
Given the nature of ARM as licenser of chip designs, it will be some time before final SoCs and products using those processors will be available. Expect this time next year to be awash with them though.