Press Release  

 

 
New PCI bridge and memory controller cores take connectivity to board level for user-customizable processor

Elstree, UK, 03 December 2001 -- New PCI host bridge and memory controller interface intellectual property (IP) cores are now available for the ARCtangent™-A4 processor, a leading user-customizable 32-bit processor. ARC International plc (LSE: ARK), trading through its subsidiaries as ARC Cores, announced today that Eureka Technology of Los Altos (CA, USA), a leading IP core provider for system-on-chip (SoC) designs, will now make available the plug-in IP modules it developed for the ARCtangent processor to connect to memory devices and the PCI bus. Eureka has already delivered ARC processor-based solutions to Fujitsu Microelectronics America, Inc. earlier this year. .

Adding a PCI interface is a significant step as it takes processor connectivity from the SoC level to board level. This adds an extra interface capability to the ARCtangent processor, enabling single-chip PCI solutions suitable for high-bandwidth applications requiring the high performance PCI specification 2.2 protocol.

Eureka Technology provides two IP cores for the ARCtangent processor:

- EP503 memory and peripheral controller, which interfaces between the processor's arbitration unit and provides access to external SDRAM, FLASH, and PCI host bridge and peripheral slave devices;

- EP453 PCI host bridge which contains bus master, bus target, and configuration initiator function, to support instruction transfer in both directions allowing an ARCtangent processor core to access devices on the PCI (specification 2.2 protocol) bus and allows a remote PCI bus master to access the system internal resources through the client interface and memory arbitration units.

Memory Controller

The EP503 memory controller is optimized to serve as the slave device for the ARCtangent bus arbitration unit. The memory controller automatically handles SDRAM and FLASH timing such as row and column latency, precharge timing, and data burst length. All these timing parameters are set by the memory controller on system reset and can be programmed by the user during run-time to optimize system performance.

The EP503 supports all industrial standard SDRAM organizations, ranging from 16Mbit to 256Mbit devices, and from X4 data width to X32 data width. Data bandwidth between the FLASH devices is programmable through read/write access time parameters in the memory controller. Interfacing to user-defined slave devices is through a user-friendly interface from the EP503. Access timing to the slave device is programmable. Address and data bus can be shared among all memory and slave devices. The EP503 is designed to support external SDRAM and FLASH while the slave device and PCI host bridge can be either on-chip or off-chip.

PCI host bridge

The EP453 fully supports the PCI specification 2.2 protocol, and is designed for ASIC and FPGA implementations in various system environments. It is a bus interface unit designed for efficient interface between the ARCtangent processor and the PCI bus, performing all the data transfer functions necessary for the bus mastering device to access data through the PCI bus. It supports burst data transfer to maximize data bandwidth. The target function allows other PCI masters to access internal system resources. It supports high-speed bus request and arbitration to minimize transfer latency. The host bridge operates in two clock domains, the CPU bus clock and the PCI bus clock - the two clock domains can be asynchronous to each other. Single and burst data transfers are supported both as bus master and bus target. The EP503 interfaces directly to the ARCtangent peripheral controller to provide access by the CPU core. The host bridge core allows the CPU to initialize the entire system during power-up reset using standard PCI protocol.

Availability

Functionality of both IP cores has been fully verified on simulation and demonstrated in silicon. The deliverables of the memory controller and PCI host bridge includes RTL source code in either Verilog or VHDL formats, test bench with test vectors, and data sheet top-level design templates. They are available for licensing directly from Eureka Technology (detailed information is available at http://www.eurekatech.com/products/arc/default.htm). Customers can purchase a full license for the ARCtangent processor that includes the core configuration utilities, development tools and the ARCangelTM prototyping system directly from ARC Cores. Integration of the ARCtangent processor can be carried out by any of ARC's worldwide network of design centers.

About Eureka Technology

Eureka Technology is a leading intellectual property (IP) provider for PLD and ASIC designers. The company offers a wide range of silicon-proved system core logic functions and peripheral functions for systems based on PCI bus and various embedded CPUS. These IP cores are designed to improve the design time-to-market delay, eliminate design risks, and reduce development costs. Founded in 1993, the company has a strong customer base in the United States, Japan and Europe. For more information about the company, visit http://www.eurekatech.com or send email to info@eurekatech.com.

About ARC International

ARC International plc is a leading developer of user-customizable, high-performance 32-bit processor cores (including ARCtangent™), development tools, peripherals and other intellectual property (IP), enabling reduced time to market for system-on-chip products. ARC's 58 customers include Conexant Systems, Cypress Semiconductor, Fujitsu Microelectronics, IBM, Infineon Technologies, QLogic, SanDisk and Sun Microsystems. Products based on ARC's technology include digital still cameras, set-top boxes, and network processors. MetaWare Inc., Precise Software Technologies Inc., and VAutomation Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of ARC International, providing software development tools, hardware and software intellectual property and real-time operating systems for an integrated approach to system-on-chip development. ARC's third-party partners include Cadence, Flextronics, Intrinsix, Synopsys, TSMC, UMC, Wind River, and Xilinx. ARC International plc and its group companies employ more than 200 people at its headquarters in Elstree, England, and in research and development, sales, and marketing offices across North America, Europe, and Israel. ARC International plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ARK). The company's web site is at www.arccores.com.

Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, among others, market acceptance of the ARC technology; fluctuations in and unpredictability of the Company's quarterly results; general economic and business conditions; regulatory policies adopted by governmental authorities; assumptions regarding the Company's future business strategy; changes in technology; competition; ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; risks associated with the Company's international operations; and other uncertainties that are discussed in the "Investment Considerations" section of the Company's listing particulars dated 28 September 2000 filed with the United Kingdom Listing Authority and the Registrar of Companies in England and Wales.

ARC International (UK) Ltd. and ARC Cores, Inc., both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of ARC International plc, trade under the name of ARC Cores. ARC, the ARC logo, ARCtangent, ARCangel, ARCompact, ARChitect, ARCform, BlueForm, and CASSEIA are trademarks of ARC International (UK) Ltd. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.