In a recent blog article, I covered a few announcements from MWC related to chips using MIPS CPUs for IoT and M2M applications, a market that is set to continue growing exponentially in the next decade. Executives at Cisco are predicting that the IoT phenomenon will be worth $19 trillion over a ten year period from 2013 to 2022.

This brings me to the expanded family of TZ5000 ApP Lite™ processors from Toshiba. These new chips are built on a modular architecture which can scale from industrial and embedded products to multimedia powerhouses for home entertainment solutions. Target applications include media streaming devices, wearables, digital signage, thin client terminal devices, IoT gateways and more.

Toshiba TZ5000 chipToshiba TZ5000 and TZ5001 application processors

Key specifications and features of the Toshiba TZ5000 processor

The block diagram below offers a look at the generic system architecture of the Toshiba TZ5000 design; the processors integrate a multi-core CPU, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU and a PowerVR VXD395 VPU. Higher-spec versions also include an Ensigma C4500 RPU for high-performance 802.11ac 2×2 connectivity.

Toshiba TZ5000 - Ensigma, PowerVRThe Toshiba TZ5000 chip uses multiple IP processors from Imagination

The processors also integrate many high-speed peripherals and NAND flash memory in one package, enabling faster start-up/boot times and quicker access to memory for real-time operating systems.

The engineering team at Toshiba’s Logic LSI division put a lot of effort in reducing the area and power consumption of these products, resulting in fully optimized solutions for the target markets above. In addition, we’ve worked closely with them to ensure they get the best value out of our entire range of IP.

Toshiba TZ500 starter kitToshiba TZ5000 starter kit for app development

For example, a hallmark of these new chips is the combination of our high-speed Ensigma Explorer RPU (radio processor) and an external RF chip powered by Imagination – this marks the first occurrence of our complete RF-to-baseband solution being deployed in mass production.

The Ensigma RF technology used in the iE1000 RF chip has been developed by our in-house Ensigma RF team. It is a very flexible and highly-optimized solution which can be integrated on the main application processor or can be built as a separate chip.

Our Ensigma Explorer RPUs are also designed to integrate very well with third party RF solutions, giving our customers the flexibility to choose a solution that fits them best.

Conclusion

This latest product from Toshiba demonstrates the growing strategic relationship between our companies. It is also reflective of the growing number of companies that are coming to Imagination for increasingly more IP building blocks and complete subsystems for their next-generation SoCs.

For an overview of how companies can combine our IP blocks to design chips for connected devices, have a look at this blog article. Make sure you also follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR, @ImaginationTech) for the latest news and announcements from Imagination and our partners.

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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