I.mx51 Arm Cortex Soc


Jan 9, 2007
37.176944N, 116.046388W


"Freescale Takes on Intel in Netbooks

Pegatron, the original design manufacturer (ODM) arm of Asus, will show off a reference design at CES that will be made available for OEM adoption at an estimated sale price of $199, according to Glen Burchers, the director of global consumer marketing for Freescale. Freescale also promises that i.MX51 -based netbooks will offer dramatic improvements in battery life, or about eight hours, and thinner form factors.

At its heart, the i.MX51 is designed around a 1-GHz Cortex A8 core, ARM's most powerful, offering 1.8 times more performance per MHz than the ARM 11 core and roughly 3 times the processor performance of an iPhone, Burchers said. Because the Cortex is an integrated core, with its peripherals built into the chip, the company believes that between 6 to 8 millimeters can be shaved off of the thickness of a netbook, versus an Atom processor, he said.

A number of dedicated cores surround the main processor, allowing the processor to offload tasks that normally the core would have to process by brute force: a vector DSP unit runs MP3 playback, while OpenGL and Open VG cores process 3D and 2D graphics, respectively. Adobe recently said that it had ported its Flash technology to the OpenVG engine, meaning that the Cortex processor has dedicated hardware support for Flash-powered Web sites, which other architectures lack, he said.

The i.MX51 chip can also decode up to 720p-class video, and encode up to D1-class resolution. When playing back HD video, all of the other cores can be turned off, leaving the main CPU running at just 50 MHz, Burchers said.

All told, the i.MX51 can operate on less than one watt, Burchers said, driving up the battery life. Freescale's netbook platform consists of the i.MX51, the Atlas AP Lite power-management IC, the SGTL5000 audio codec, an accelerometer, and a capacitative touch sensor."

i.MX51 block diagram:

Now that sounds really good. Thanks for posting :)

I'd like to know, which GPU they use. Maybe I'll do some resaerch myself later on.
Too bad Open Pandora couldn't be at CES 2009
Looks like a winner to me. Would love to see how it stacks up against OMAP3530. Sounds like it'll probably clock higher out of the box and it has double the L2 cache (I'd love to see what impact that has in the real world, with clocks otherwise kept the same). On the otherhand, whatever DSP it uses is an unknown factor (how it compares to the C64x+ class in the OMAP3530). I would also like to know if 200MHz DDR means 100MHz clock or 200MHz clock. Hopefully the latter (effective 400MHz data rate). And of course what it uses for 3D acceleration.