Configurable IoT processor handles it all

October 10, 2016 //By Julien Happich
A few months after it announced the CEVA-X4, a high-end implementation of its CEVA-X architecture framework, CEVA is now releasing a lightweight multi-purpose, processor IP core to streamline the design of cellular-enabled low data rate industrial and consumer loT devices.

The CEVA-X1 IoT processor deploys a single-core DSP+CPU architecture specifically designed to address the severe size, power and cost limitations demanded for deploying the latest LTE Cat-M1 (formerly eMTC) and Cat-NB1 (formerly NB-IoT) standards as well as future FeMTC and 5G cellular IoT use cases. The new processor could also serve as a multi-purpose, multi-mode processing hub for a range of tightly-associated IoT workloads, including Wi-Fi 802.11n, 802.11ac, Bluetooth/BLE, Zigbee/Thread, LoRa, SIGFOX, narrowband voice, GNSS and sensor fusion.

It can handle multiple processing workloads simultaneously, allowing developers complete flexibility to tailor their system to meet the requirements of any IoT use case. In addition to DSP processing, the CEVA-X1 employs an extended Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) that allows it to efficiently handle CPU software workloads, such as protocol stack and system control.

The company says the CEVA-X1's performance (CoreMark/MHz score of 3.3) is on par with the most commonly used CPU for IoT stacks, the ARM Cortex-M4 (with a CoreMark/MHz score of 3.4), which means no separate CPU core would be required when designing an IoT device based on the CEVA-X1.