Freescale i.MX Processor with Integrated Mixed Signal Technology Reduces System Cost and Design Complexity

i.MX233 Processor Delivers ARM9™ Performance, Analog Audio and Industry-Leading Power Management for Consumer Applications

AUSTIN, Texas — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 19, 2009 — Manufacturers targeting a broad range of consumer and embedded markets can lower costs and streamline product design with one of the first i.MX applications processors from Freescale Semiconductor to integrate mixed signal technology. The device will be showcased at upcoming Freescale Technology Forum events in Shenzhen, China and Bangalore, India.

The i.MX233 processor provides an optimized system-on-chip solution to meet the power and performance requirements of eBooks, portable media players (PMPs) and other mobile consumer electronics applications requiring graphical user displays. Additional applications include VoIP handsets, smart remotes, home appliances, audio peripherals/accessories and simple human machine interface (HMI) systems for industrial applications.

"The superior performance and integration of Freescale's i.MX233 processor allows us to add exciting new features to our next generation chumby products, while reducing total silicon count and lowering overall cost,” said Dr. Andrew Huang, vice president of hardware engineering for Chumby Industries. “By continually advancing its world-class i.MX product family, Freescale helps us evolve and improve the chumby hardware platform for the ultimate benefit of our customers."

With an ARM9 core operating up to 454MHz, the i.MX233 processor is designed to maximize performance and extend battery life. The integrated power management system enables efficient MIPS per application while clock gating and multiple low power modes optimize low power performance. The processor also combines an LCD controller with touchscreen and display processing, connectivity ports such as USB 2.0 with Phy, SDIO, standard UARTs, I2C and SPI ports, analog features including audio codecs and A/D converters, and an external memory interface, as well as support for external NAND with hardware error correction capabilities for improved reliability.

“The i.MX233 provides a new level of integration for embedded markets, eliminating the need for many external components and reducing cost and complexity in a design,” said Ken Obuszewski, director of product management for Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Group. “We are enabling cost-competitive solutions for our customers and helping reduce their development time, which allows them to hit important market windows.”

The i.MX233 processor incorporates world-class analog and mixed signal technology acquired via Freescale’s 2008 acquisition of SigmaTel. This key mixed signal technology includes integrated power management, analog audio and A/D channels. An image processing unit supporting 24-bit VGA displays is included to enable rich user interfaces. An on-chip SDIO controller eliminates the need for an external component and provides expansion capabilities to memory cards and wireless connectivity standards such as WiFi and Bluetooth® wireless technology.

The part’s unique architecture and efficient integration enable smaller packages and eliminate external components, thus reducing system bill-of-materials and enabling the development of cost efficient solutions. Engineers under budget and time constraints are able to take a mid-to high-end platform and create lower tier solutions, or update an existing low-end solution to add more features.

The i.MX233 has qualified for the Freescale Energy Efficient Solutions mark, which means it is designed to offer customers assurance that Freescale has employed the right combination of technologies and techniques to achieve optimal energy savings as relevant to a particular application space. The mark stands for Freescale’s technology expertise in delivering products optimized for high performance within the constrained energy and power budgets of embedded environments.

Product development support

A multimedia codec library and a board support package for Linux® operating systems are available now, and a Windows® Embedded CE board support package is expected later this year. The processor is also available as part of an evaluation kit (EVK) for customer development and evaluation.

“Given the compelling performance for the price, the i.MX233 is likely to be an important force in the market," said Shay Benchorin, director of marketing and strategic alliances for Mentor Graphics’ Embedded Systems Division. "Mentor Graphics is excited to work with Freescale on enabling Linux for the i.MX233 processor, and to offer our development system for Linux-based devices and services to help customers deliver a quality product on time."

In addition, Allgo Embedded Systems has developed a wireless media player reference design based on the i.MX233 processor. The solution is designed to provide time-to-market advantages for OEMs of connected digital photo frames, wireless music players, internet radio, smart digital metering/home automation equipment, HMI systems and other products.

Availability and pricing

Freescale's i.MX233 processors are offered for both consumer and industrial operating ranges. Production quantities of Freescale’s i.MX233 processors, along with development boards and software, will be available in October 2009. Suggested resale pricing in 10,000-unit quantities ranges from $5.11 - $5.88 in the 128-pin LQFP package and $6.03 - $6.79 in the 169-pin BGA package (All prices are in USD).

To learn more about the i.MX233 processor, visit www.freescale.com/imx233.

About Freescale's i.MX applications processors

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