New extensions to ARCtangent-A4 processor enable small, low-cost Java-enabled systems
Nürnberg, Germany, 18 February 2002 - - ARC International (LSE: ARK), a leader in user-customizable processors and software for communications and consumer products, announces new Java extensions for its ARCtangent-A4 user-customizable microprocessor, enabling one of the smallest embedded Java solutions currently available. Benchmarks indicate the ARC Java extensions deliver nearly 30 percent greater performance than its nearest competitor - with significantly less overhead.
The ARC Java extensions were developed by DCT (Digital Communications Technologies) Ltd, a Java microcontroller specialist. They add only about 5K gates to the 32-bit ARCtangent-A4 processor - a total of less than 40K gates for an integrated RISC/Java solution. Performance has been benchmarked at about 7 CaffeineMarks per megahertz (CM/MHz). ARC and DCT are demonstrating the ARC Java extensions at the Embedded Systems show in Nürnberg this week.
Adding the Java extensions are in line with ARC's vertical technology strategy to provide specific system level integration solutions around its microprocessor for key growth sectors. They address a fast-growing market for small, low cost embedded Java systems, particularly in high volume consumer and multimedia applications such as mobile handsets, digital TV set-top boxes, and web pads.
Johannes Richter, business unit director multimedia/automotive at Fujitsu said, "This solution enables differentiation of an embedded Java system at the hardware level rather than software, because of the user-customizable nature of ARC's processor. By focusing on low cost, power and memory footprint, this embedded Java architecture should accelerate Java uptake." Fujitsu's multimedia business was one of the first companies to develop MPEG-2 and multimedia chips based on ARC's processor, and now it is expected to ship the first Java-enabled multimedia processor based on ARCtangent-A4.
Markus Levy, senior analyst at the Microprocessor Report, a leading technical publication for the microprocessor industry, said, "With these Java extensions, DCT has derived a very compelling mechanism for converting ARC's RISC architecture into a stack-based architecture that will efficiently, and seamlessly, execute Java byte codes or native C operations."
The key benefits of the ARC Java extensions are: ease of integration, compatibility with existing operating systems and tools, compact logic, lower memory requirements, low power consumption and greatly enhanced Java performance.
Unlike competing Java solutions, the ARC Java extensions are not part of a bulky Java co-processor. Instead, they are native instructions that execute Java bytecode instructions directly. They require no extra pipeline stages, minimizing latency. They require no cumbersome mode switching, because compilers and programmers can freely interleave the standard and extended ARCtangent-A4 instructions. This also allows aggressive optimisations. The ARCtangent-A4 processor with Java extensions can execute multiple Java bytecodes per clock cycle, where other solutions require multiple clock cycles per bytecode.
The Java extensions for the ARCtangent-A4 processor are expected to be
available in Q2 2002.
About ARC International
ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).
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