The embedded market has a need for higher-performing yet lower-power artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that can be deployed at the edge, where power consumption is often at a premium. AI solutions often require advanced imaging and audio capabilities which are typically found only on higher-performing multicore microprocessors that, unfortunately, also consume much more power.
To offer developers access to those higher-performing peripherals without sacrificing power consumption, Microchip Technology developed the new SAMA7G54 ARM Cortex A7-based MPU running at up to 1 GHz. The SAMA7G54 includes both a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface and a traditional parallel camera interface, enabling developers to design low-power stereo vision applications with more accurate depth perception.
Microchip is committed to maintaining the lowest-power MPU portfolio in the market. The SAMA7G54 extends this low-power trend into the 1 GHz performance class of Linux-capable MPUs by providing flexible low-power modes, as well as voltage and frequency scaling. When coupled with the company’s new MCP16502 power management IC (PMIC), this MPU enables embedded designers to fine-tune their end application for the best overall power consumption vs. performance, while also optimising for the lowest overall system cost. The MCP16502 is supported by Microchip’s mainline Linux distribution for the SAMA7G54, allowing for easy entry and exit from available low-power modes, as well as support for dynamic voltage and frequency scaling.
For audio applications, the device integrates enhanced audio features such as four I2S digital audio ports, an 8-microphone array interface, an S/PDIF transmitter and receiver, as well as a 4-channel stereo audio sample rate converter. It is also equipped with multiple microphone inputs for improved source localisation to enhance smart speaker or video conferencing system performance.
The SAMA7G54 also integrates Arm TrustZone technology with secure boot, secure key storage and cryptography with acceleration. Customers can work with Microchip’s security experts to evaluate their security needs and implement the level of protection that’s right for their design.
Microchip provides both hardware and software development support for the SAMA7G54. The SAMA7G54-EK evaluation kit features connectors and expansion headers for easy customisation and quick access to advanced embedded features. The device is supported by Microchip’s mainline Linux distribution. Bare-metal framework and RTOS support is provided within MPLAB Harmony v3.
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