Freescale unveils next-generation i.MX processor for portable multimedia devices

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Designed for high volume OEM/ODM customers, the i.MX37 evolves Freescale’s PMP roadmap

AUSTIN, Texas — Freescale Semiconductor introduces the i.MX37 multimedia applications processor – a highly advanced device for portable media player (PMP), mobile Internet and portable GPS navigation (PND) markets. The device further extends Freescale’s i.MX product family into price sensitive, high volume consumer markets where maximum performance and advanced user interface features are key. It also offers developers an outstanding platform for quickly introducing products to market.

“With the i.MX37 processor platform and our recent acquisition of talent and technology from SigmaTel, Freescale is well positioned to engage with customers across a broad spectrum of the mobile consumer market — from simple audio players to sophisticated multimedia and portable GPS devices featuring high resolution video,” said Paul Marino, general manager of Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Division. “The introduction of the i.MX37 demonstrates our ongoing commitment to serve the PMP, PND and other markets with a wide array of offerings.”

The i.MX37 processor is designed to meet growing demand for devices that deliver rich multimedia experiences anytime, anywhere. Consumers expect high quality video, lifelike graphics, concert quality audio and long battery life, all delivered in sleek form factors and at affordable prices. Meanwhile, OEMs want optimal performance, efficient power management, sophisticated integration and compact packaging. The i.MX37 processor is designed to simultaneously meet the requirements of equipment manufacturers as well as end users.

“High-volume OEMs and ODMs are seeking solutions that will enable them to create compelling new generations of high-end portable consumer-electronics devices,” said Sheri Greenspan, senior analyst for Consumer Electronics at the market-research firm iSuppli Corp., El Segundo, Calif. “Semiconductor suppliers need comprehensive IP libraries, including cost-efficient processing and mixed-signal capabilities to serve the needs of the fast-growing portable multimedia and navigation markets.”

Freescale’s first offering based on the ARM1176JZF-S™ core, the i.MX37 device delivers 532 MHz at 1.0V to efficiently drive demanding applications in top-of-the-line portable devices. In lower performance applications such as audio and video playback where power consumption is a primary concern, the i.MX37 processor can run at voltages under 1.0V to help achieve the longest possible battery life.

The i.MX37 multimedia applications processor is architected with Freescale’s Smart Speed technology, an intelligent integrative approach that uses hardware accelerators to offload the CPU and a crossbar switch to bring parallelism to the system. The result is a processor that performs with a high clock speed, while conserving power for extended battery life.

The i.MX37 solution integrates Freescale’s most advanced image processing unit (IPU) to date. Freescale’s IPU v3D technology supports up to 24-bit color depth at XGA resolution, enabling large display support for high end multimedia players and mobile internet devices. When used in conjunction with the image processing unit, the processor’s multimedia hardware acceleration delivers the rich playback experiences required on next-generation multimedia devices.

The device’s multimedia hardware contains logic that decodes industry standard video formats such as MPEG4, H.264, WMV/VC-1, MPEG2 and H.263 up to 576×720 (D1) resolution, which offloads the ARM® CPU. This allows the processor to deliver rich user interfaces blended with video playback for an uncompromised user experience. The i.MX37 processor also includes an integrated PAL/NTSC encoder with triple video DACs to deliver a pristine picture on larger displays or televisions over component, composite or S-video interfaces.

Offered in a compact 10×10 MAPBGA package at 0.5mm pitch, the i.MX37 multimedia applications processor is designed to enable creation of sleek end devices featuring streamlined form factors.


Initial sampling to selected customers is underway now in both Linux® and WinCE® board support packages. The i.MX37 will also be demonstrated at the Freescale Technology Forum in June 2008.