Configurable IoT processor handles it all

Configurable IoT processor handles it all

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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.
By Julien Happich

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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.


Through the CEVA-Connect advanced system control interface, the CEVA-X1 can leverage various CEVA or customer proprietary hardware accelerators such as the Cat-M1 Turbo decoder. As an example, the processor IP licensor puts forward a wear-alone smartwatch use case, where the complete Cat-NB1 modem including protocol stack and PHY running concurrently with GPS would require less than 150MHz, with headroom for additional functions such as sensor fusion.

Complete Cat-NB1 modem including protocol stack and PHY running concurrently with GPS and sensor fusion.

More information at https://launch.ceva-dsp.com/CEVA-X1.

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