TRON News Items for May 2004

Personal Media Corporation announced on May 20 that it would commence shipping on May 28 a new, high-speed, low-power T-Engine development board based on a Toshiba Corporation's TX4956 microprocessor, which will be priced at 207,900 yen (tax included). The new development board, "T-Engine/TX4956," distinguishes itself by being able to run at 400 MHz while consuming only 0.6 watt of electrical power, which is said to be lowest power consumption in its class. Its processor core, the 64-bit "TX49/H4 core," is based on the MIPS architecture, the same architecture the NEC Corporation uses for its processors, and it runs on a 1.2 volt internal and 3.3 volt external power supply. Options for T-Engine/TX4956 include an LCD board, priced at 47,250 yen (tax included); T-Engine development bench (an acrylic stand plus a carrying cover), priced at 21,000 yen (tax included); and PMC T-Shell TX/4956 Development Kit, priced at 102,900 yen (tax included). The hardware and software specifications are as follows:

T-Engine/TX4956 Hardware Specification
CPU TX4956 (MIPS, 400 MHz, FBGA package)
Flash memory 16 Megabytes
SDRAM 128 Megabytes
I/O interfaces USB (host), PCMCIA card, serial, eTRON chip I/F, headphone output, microphone input, expansion bus I/F (PCI compatible), JTAG-ICE I/F
Other functions Real-time clock (RTC), analog RGB output (resolution up to 800 x 600)
Power source AC adapter
External dimensions
CPU board: 120 mm x 75 mm (without protuberances)

Software Bundled with T-Engine/TX4956
T-Monitor Standard T-Engine monitor
T-Kernel T-Kernel/OS (Operating System), T-Kernel/SM (System Manager), T-Kernel/DS (Debugger Support)
Basic middleware File management function, command line interpreter (CLI)
Managers PC Card manager (bus driver), USB manager (bus driver)
Device drivers with source programs RTC, console (serial), screen (LCD), system disk (ATA card, USB), KB/PD (keyboard, touch panel, mouse)
Sample programs Simple disk partition creator (hdpart), disk formatter (format), file contents comparer (cmp), disk dump (dd), simple line editor (ed)

T-Engine/TX4956 is described in depth on pages 9-14 of Vol. 82 of TRONWARE. According to the information there, T-Engine/TX4956 uses a SysAD bus that allows developers to select between 32-bit and 64-bit modes. In the 32-bit mode, the developer can connect to an NEC NorthBridge VRC5477 companion chip, which allows the Toshiba processor to interface with various standard parts of the T-Engine development board. In fact, since NEC uses the same processor architecture, Toshiba requested and received a lot of help from NEC Electronics Corporation. As a result, the T-Engine/TX4956 board is highly compatible with NEC's T-Engine/VR5500 board, and the two companies are aiming at binary compatibility in the MIPS4 environment. In addition to cooperation with NEC, Toshiba has licensed the Flash Player and taken out a support contract with Macromedia Inc. of the U.S. The plan is to offer the Flash Player and Toshiba's T-Engine board as a wireless LAN solution for embedded device networks in the home and office.

For further information about T-Engine/TX4956 and/or to place an order, please contact Personal Media's Sales Department.