NXP Semiconductors, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, and ARM [(LSE:ARM); (Nasdaq:ARMHY)] today announced that they have expanded their strategic relationship with a new licensing agreement, including the high-performance, low-power ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor, as well as other ARM technology. NXP will introduce a new family of microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor starting in 2008, further expanding its broad portfolio of 56 ARM7™ and ARM9™ family-based MCUs.
As part of the agreement, NXP will also have access to all ARM Cortex family processors, including the recently announced Cortex-A9 MPCore™ multicore processor; the ARM Mali™ family of graphics processing units (GPUs); CoreSight™ on-chip debug and trace technology; and a full suite of ARM physical IP for the development of future solutions with minimized power consumption.
“The strategic agreement between NXP and ARM underscores a shared vision of how 32-bit processors are fundamentally changing advanced digital products – from mobile phones, portable media players, TVs and set-top boxes, to identification applications, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices,” said René Penning de Vries, senior vice president and chief technology officer, NXP Semiconductors. “As we expand our collaboration with ARM, we will continue to focus on innovations that deliver solutions supported by a strong ecosystem of industry partners.”
“The agreement with NXP demonstrates the rapidly growing momentum behind the ARM Cortex family of processors, as well as the Mali family of GPUs and other ARM technology,” said Graham Budd, executive vice president and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. “We look forward to working closely with NXP as it introduces new designs and enhancements in products ranging from microcontrollers and smart cards to high-end cellular system solutions.”
First NXP microcontrollers based on the Cortex-M3 processor
Starting in 2008, NXP plans to release several new microcontroller series based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor. The new NXP MCUs will target a wide range of applications including consumer, industrial, medical and automotive systems, with a Memory Accelerator Module (MAM) featuring NXP’s embedded high-speed Flash memory design, as well as support for Ethernet and other communications peripherals such as USB and CAN.
“The introduction of a new family of NXP microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor will be a major milestone in 2008. Our LPC2000 and LPC3000 microcontroller families are already extremely popular within the industry, and NXP will continue to offer our customers the broadest range of choice available when it comes to 32-bit MCUs,” said Geoff Lees, vice president, microcontroller product line, NXP Semiconductors. “The low-power Cortex-M3 processor, which combines high system performance with significantly reduced memory use, will enable NXP to continue our innovation in embedded Flash, and provide a strong option for designers looking to migrate from 8- and 16-bit to 32-bit microcontroller platforms.”
The ARM Cortex-M3 processor with its high system performance, exceptional interrupt handling, low-cost architecture and extensive tools support is an ideal platform on which to develop deeply embedded, low-power applications at a competitive price point. The NXP microcontroller family based on the Cortex-M3 processor will be pin-compatible with, and offered in addition to its ARM7 and ARM9 family-based microcontrollers. Further, the new microcontrollers from NXP will be supported by a strong ecosystem of tools providers such as Keil, Embedded Artists, and many others.
NXP is a top 10 semiconductor company founded by Philips more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in Europe, the company has 37,000 employees working in more than 20 countries and posted sales of EUR 5 billion in 2006. NXP creates semiconductors, system solutions and software that deliver better sensory experiences in mobile phones, personal media players, TVs, set-top boxes, identification applications, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices. News from NXP is located at www.nxp.com.
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, graphics processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.