64-bit, ARM-based, computing architecture for the Digital Home

January 07, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
ST has disclosed details of a strategy to take domestic applications into 64-bit processing; based on its ‘Cannes,’ ‘Monaco,’ and ‘Alicante’ product families it employs 64-bit ARM cores to support the increasing performance and memory requirements of future SoCs

STMicroelectronics is aiming its STi8K architecture at future Systems-on-Chips (SoCs) for the Digital Home. Based on ARMv8-A cores, STi8K SoCs will enhance the available Cannes/STiH3 (FHD1/UHD HEVC Client-Box), Monaco/STiH4 (FHD/UHD HEVC Server/Gateways), and Alicante/STiD12 (DOCSIS) product families, providing, in combination with them, a smooth and future-proof industry transition from 32-bit to 64-bit computing.

“The consumer industry has initiated the transition from 32- to 64-bit computing in the mobile market,” said Gian Luca Bertino, Executive Vice President and General Manager Digital Convergence Group, STMicroelectronics. “New upcoming, highly demanding technologies, such as DOCSIS 3.1 or full-featured 10-bit High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) in Ultra High Definition at 60 frames per second, will drive this same transition in the Digital Home market.”

Optimised for ST’s 28nm Fully Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator (FD-SOI) and smaller-geometry manufacturing processes, the architecture uses the increased data throughput, the extended memory addressing, and the reduced power consumption of the ARM Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 64-bit processor technology, combining high performance and reliability with energy efficiency to meet end-user and eco-design requirements.

Tom Cronk, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, at ARM added, “We share ST’s vision for the future of the digital home market. Full-colour Ultra HD applications together with ultra-high bandwidth home-network-access systems made possible with DOCSIS 3.1 technologies will transform the home-entertainment experience. Our long-term collaboration with ST, including its recent integration of our latest 64-bit processors, together with our mutual investment in software-ecosystem development, for example through Linaro, are key building blocks that will help make more advanced and immersive media experiences a reality.

ST’s STi8K architecture features Faroudja transcoding, managing, for example, 8 HD streams and advanced hardware-assisted networking capabilities, to enable advanced scenarios for distributing multimedia content, as required by tomorrow’s satellite, cable and hybrid home servers and gateways.

With its support for Ultra High Definition up to 60 frames per second with wide gamut and 10-bit colour, as required by the ITU-R Recommendation BT.2020, and high-performance full-frame-rate