NATIONAL Semiconductor, represented in Australia by Arrow Electronics , has released the Advanced Power Controller (APC), available for licensing from ARM.
It is based on PowerWise technology. Used in conjunction with National's power management circuits and the ARM Intelligent Energy Manager (IEM) it can reduce processor core power consumption by up to 75%.
As cameras, colour displays, MP3 music, games, FM stereo and PDA capabilities are added to mobile phones designers need a way to support these power-hungry features without reducing battery life.
PowerWise technology is suitable for system-on-chip (SoC) devices in mobile phones and other portable electronic devices. The APC is an AMBA methodology macrocell which includes a hardware performance monitor (HPM). The APC automatically calibrates for process and temperature variations to reduce the system power supply to the absolute minimum necessary to meet the required level of performance at all operating frequencies.
IEM technology uses algorithms to optimally balance processor workload and energy consumption while maximising system responsiveness. The IEM software component works with the mobile device's operating system and applications to predict the lowest CPU performance level while still maintaining full user quality. The ARM Intelligent Energy Controller (IEC) macrocell then determines the best operating frequency to support CPU performance level for a specific SoC implementation.
The IEC works with the on-chip clock management unit to control clock frequency changes and the APC macrocell to set the minimum required power supply voltage delivered by the external compliant power management chip. The APC communicates with external PowerWise-compliant power management chips using the PowerWise interface (PWI), an open-standard interface dedicated to power management.
The APC is embedded in SoC devices used in portable applications such as digital baseband and application processors. It is provided as soft IP (10,000 gates) with RTL, synthesis scripts, test benches, implementation and programming documentation. It is also configurable to support up to eight performance levels and includes a PWI-compliant master. It supports deployment of both table-based dynamic voltage scaling and PowerWise adaptive voltage scaling.