|WP2 - Architecture Specification: Deliverable D2.1 - Architecture and Components Integration|
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StrongARM [SA1100] is a family of high speed, low power processors specifically designed for portable and embedded systems, such as handheld devices. The processors, which were jointly developed by ARM [ARM] and Digital Equipment Corporation, are now available from Intel. ARM's microprocessor cores [Jagger95] are rapidly becoming the volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer and embedded solutions.
One of the most used processors of the StrongARM family is the Intel SA-1110. It provides the performance, low power, integration and cost benefits of its predecessor (Intel SA-1100), plus a high-speed memory bus, flexible memory controller and the ability to handle variable-latency I/O devices such as high performance graphic devices. The Intel XScale processors are an improvement of Intel StrongARM family. It combines high performance, small size, low power and modest cost.
A wide variety of PDA models used StrongArm processors, such as Sharp Zaurus [Sharp], Intrynsic Cerf [IntrinsycCerf]. All iPaq handhelds of Compaq [iPaq] contain XScale or StrongARM processors (depending on products).
This architecture is supported by several embedded operating systems, such as Windows CE and VXWorks. Linux has been ported to ARM processors (included SA 110 and 1100) [ArmLinux], and a wide variety of tools and distributions, such as GNU, Debian, have been developed to support it. It is also available a straightforward port of the XFree86 implementation of the X Window system [HandHelds]. Furthermore, commercial embedded linux distributions [Montavista] support both StrongARM and Xscale.
There is also a patch for RT-Linux (v 3.0) and Linux 2.4.16 that ports SA 1100 processor [Imec].
Therefore, since the basic support has been already developed, the main effort will be focused on adding tools and components for real-time features. This will be very necessary if consumer electronics market place consolidates for domotic applications.