Concept: US-based embedded control solutions provider Microchip Technology has launched the SAMA7G54 Arm Cortex A7-based microprocessor (MPU) that can run up to 1 GHz. The SAMA7G54 includes both a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface and a traditional parallel camera interface that can enable developers to design low-power stereo vision applications with more accurate depth perception.

Nature of Disruption: Microchip’s SAMA7G54 is a low-power 1 GHz performance class of Linux-capable MPUs and can offer flexible low-power modes, and voltage and frequency scaling, as claimed. The SAMA7G54, when used in conjunction with Microchip’s new MCP16502 Power Management IC (PMIC), allows embedded designers to fine-tune their end application for improved power consumption versus performance while minimizing overall system cost. Microchip’s mainline Linux distribution of SAMA7G54 can support the MCP16502, allowing for easy entry and exit from accessible low-power modes. The SAMA7G54 offers designers a low-risk path to develop power and performance-optimized AI systems for edge deployment. It can help the designers to create high-performance imaging and audio-centric AI systems without the need for multi-core MPUs that consume a lot of resources. SAMA7G54 includes four I2S digital audio connectors, an eight microphone array interface, a Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF) transmitter, and receiver, and four stereo channel audio sample-rate-converters for audio applications. It is provided with multiple microphone inputs for improved source localization to enhance the performance of smart speakers and video conferencing systems. The SAMA7G54 integrates Arm TrustZone technology, which includes a secure boot, safe key storage, cryptography acceleration, and other features.

Outlook: The embedded system industry requires higher-performing, low-power AI solutions that can be implemented at the edge, where power consumption is often limited. Advanced imaging and audio capabilities are required by AI systems. However, these capabilities are available on high-performing multi-core microprocessors that consume more power. Microchip’s single-core SAMA7G54 MPU offers developers access to high-performing peripherals without sacrificing power consumption. It lets the customers collaborate with Microchip’s security experts to assess their security requirements and install the appropriate level of protection for their application. The company provides hardware and software development support for the SAMA7G54. Microchip claims that connectors and expansion headers are included in the SAMA7G54-EK Evaluation Kit for easy customization and quick access to cutting-edge embedded features. Additionally, the SAMA7G54 is compatible with a wide range of Ethernet physical layer devices (PHYs), switches and hubs, wireless solutions, and controller area network flexible data-rate (CAN FD) transceivers from Microchip, as mentioned. The SAMA7G54 is available in 10,000-unit quantities with the BGA343 package.

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