Geneva, Switzerland — STMicroelectronics has demonstrated a complete system solution for laser-printer applications, based on the company’s Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture (SPEAr) embedded microprocessor technology. The working-prototype formatter board includes all hardware, firmware and software components, reducing development time and required resources for printer manufacturers, said ST. The board is designed to cuts costs, reduce development efforts and speed up time to market.
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 a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). 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 low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) 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.
This prototype board can be used in a wide range of applications from entry-level single-function laser printers to mid-range and high-end multi-function models.
The SPEAr embedded microprocessors, manufactured in low-power 90-nm and 65-nm high-speed CMOS (HCMOS) process technologies, 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 and flexible digital engines at a fraction of the time and cost required by a full-custom design approach, said ST.