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Programmable bridge controller fuels Intel's embedded push

Posted by iNext - 2006-03-24

QuickLogic Corp. has optimized its QL5822 QuickPCI programmable bridge device to connect Intel Corp.'s PXA processors and wired Ethernet controllers.
QuickLogic continues to work with Intel to develop "companion devices" for the Intel PXA processor, fueling Intel's push into embedded applications. A companion device is a QuickLogic QuickPCI programmable bridge controller coupled with preverified IP and software drivers.

The key difference between a companion device and IP is that QuickLogic's companion device is shipped pre-programmed with the pre-verified IP implementation, according to Brian Faith, QuickLogic's director of product marketing.

The companion device is typically specific to a particular embedded processor. Its QL5822 family of programmable bridge controllers is tailored for the Intel PXA2xx series of XScale embedded processors.

QuickLogic last year outfitted one of its programmable controllers to enable the Intel PXA2xx processor's native interface to communicate with IDE-based hard disk drives. It also made a miniPCI bridge to connect Intel's PXA to WiFi modules.

Like Intel's PXA device, most low-power embedded processors don't integrate a PCI controller, a component required by most LAN devices developed for PC platforms. QuickLogic leverages the PCI controller that is integrated in its QuickPCI programmable bridging device to provide native connectivity to the LAN devices.

QuickLogic provides the PCI bus driver. And Intel provides the peripheral, LAN driver. The companion device uses the PCI core from QuickLogic's QuickPCI family of programmable bridge controllers and the low-power programmable logic from the Eclipse II family of FPGAs, Faith said.

As a result, embedded system designers gain access to cost-effective technologies typically available on the PC platform, according to the company.

Depending on the application requirements, the QL5822 supports multiple packages, including TQFP, BGA, and TFBGA. Pricing for the QL5822 devices will cost less than $5 each in high volume at the end of this year.

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