ST's laser-printer controller board integrates the high-performance SPEAr600 device with two ARM9 cores, connectivity peripherals — DDR2 memory, USB 2.0, Giga Ethernet — and an FPGA (field-programmable gate array)(2). This is complemented with laser-printer specific IPs, firmware subsystems and a simplified user interface based on the Windows Software Development Kit.
The application-specific features include a laser video output and LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) buffers that directly drive the four-color laser beams, four direct memory-access channels for data management, and a serial interface that sends commands and receives status information from the laser engines.
Tested and benchmarked with best-in-class printers, ST's prototype board provides a complete system solution aimed at a wide application range, from entry-level single-function laser printers to mid-range and high-end multi-function models. Cutting costs, time-to-market and system know-how requirements, the ready-to-implement solution enables laser-printer manufacturers to build high-quality products with minimum development efforts.
Manufactured in state-of-the-art low-power 90nm and 65nm HCMOS (high-speed CMOS) process technologies, ST's SPEAr (Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture) embedded microprocessors provide high levels of computing power and connectivity, targeting embedded-control applications across market segments from computer peripherals and communication to industrial automation. Based on the latest ARM® core technology, the SPEAr devices enable equipment manufacturers to develop complex yet flexible digital engines at a fraction of the time and cost required by a full-custom design approach.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2009, the Company's net revenues were $8.51 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
(1) Formatter or controller board processes and formats data before printing inside a multifunction laser printer.
(2) Field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by the customer or designer after manufacturing.
Michael Markowitz of STMicroelectronics