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StrongARM(TM)* Processors

SA-110 Microprocessor

Powerful technology for emerging embedded consumer applications

The SA-110 StrongARM™ microprocessor is optimized for embedded consumer applications. Featuring superior power efficiency, low cost, and high performance, the SA-110 can be an impressive choice for intelligent adapter cards, switches, routers, printers, scanners, RAID controllers, process control applications, set-top boxes, thin clients, Windows* terminals, and other emerging consumer applications.

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The first StrongARM family processor, the SA-110, provides powerful performance in a low-power chip. Operating at speeds from 100 MHz to 233 MHz, the SA-110 features high performance and power dissipation from less than 300 milliwatts (mW) to less than 1,000 mW.

High performance and low cost for embedded applications

The SA-110 microprocessor is an impressive choice for many 32-bit embedded products. SA-110 microprocessors can deliver the performance needed to do routing calculations and move data in internetworking applications, improve I/O throughput and offer PCI connectivity in intelligent I/O applications. The SA-110 offers impressive MIPS-per-dollar, with a range of CPU performances, a complete suite of development tools, and real-time operating systems for office automation and process control applications.

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SA-110 for smart handheld products

The SA-110 and its core logic chip, the 21285, offer the right mix of integration, PCI connectivity and Intelligent I/O features. A robust software environment makes the design of StrongARM microprocessor-based products for embedded applications fast and easy. StrongARM processors are supported by a full suite of real-time operating systems from leading third-party software vendors.

Power-saving features enable portable products

The SA-110 can help fulfill the increasing performance requirements of emerging portable products while satisfying the stringent power constraints of battery-operated devices. Using SA-110 processors, suppliers can deliver new and enhanced functions in handheld personal computers (HPCs), mobile phones, organizers, and other consumer devices.

Advanced power-saving technologies

StrongARM features a low-voltage process and integration of advanced power-saving features and design techniques. StrongARM’s 2.0-volt nominal process technology, which allows operation at either 1.65 volts or 2.0 volts, is key to the SA-110’s MIPS/watt advantage. Operating at 2.0 volts, the SA-110 features power dissipation savings of 80 percent compared to the power dissipation of 3.3-volt parts. At the same time, the SA-110 provides flexibility to interface easily with 3.3-volt peripherals by providing I/O pin compatibility with 3.3-volt signals. Extensive use of independent conditional-clocking trees provides additional power savings.

Flexible system bus design

StrongARM’s programmable system interface gives suppliers the flexibility to design their products to the specific requirements of their applications. The SA-110 interface can operate in synchronous or asynchronous mode and is programmable within a range of frequencies. In synchronous mode, the interface can be programmed at 1/9 to 1/2 of the pipeline frequency–up to 66 MHz. This flexibility allows OEMs to interface to a range of memory systems for high-performance solutions or less expensive designs. In asynchronous mode, the interface can operate at any speed up to 66 MHz, providing additional flexibility.

21285 core logic optimizes overall performance

The 21285 Core Logic greatly expands application possibilities and optimizes overall product performance. The 21285 provides a single-chip interface between an SA-110 microprocessor, synchronous DRAM, Flash ROM and the PCI bus. Integrated features include DMA and interrupt controllers, programmable timers, intelligent I/O (I2O) unit, parallel and serial ports, and a PCI bus arbiter. The 21285 enables designers to take advantage of the high speed of the PCI bus for demanding applications.

Development environment speeds time-to-market

A robust development environment, incorporating familiar ARM™* tools and an evaluation board kit helps OEMs and third-party software application providers incorporate the SA-110 microprocessor and the 21285 Core Logic Chip into their products rapidly. The suite of ARM software tools aids developers in generating and running benchmarks on software, simulating processors and memory, downloading computer code to target hard-ware, and debugging code quickly and efficiently. The tools are compatible with MS-DOS , UNIX (SunOS),UNIX (HP), Windows 3.1™,Windows NT™ (Intel) Windows NT (Alpha), and Windows 95 ™.


  • High-performance, low-power technology enables manufacturers to compete effectively in the rapidly expanding embedded consumer application market segment
  • Unparalleled performance in a low-power design enables new and advanced HPCs, mobile phones, and other portable devices
  • Industry leading price/performance delivers the multimedia/ graphics capabilities demanded by Internet access devices
  • Compatibility with ARM and availability of key third-party development tools and runtime operating systems (RTOS) reduces design efforts and cost, speeding time to market

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  Low Power   High Performance    
Clock 100 MHz 160 MHz 166 MHz 200 MHz 233 MHz
Performance 115 185 192 230 268
Power dissipation <300 mW <450 mW <450 mW <900 mW <1000 mW
MIPS/Watt 383 411 N/A N/A N/A
Power supply
Core 1.65 V 1.65 V V 2.0 2.0 V 2.0 V
I/O Vddx = 3.3 V 6 10%
Operation modes
Normal <300 mW <450 mW <450 mW <900 mW <1000 mW
Idle <20 mW* <20 mW* N/A N/A N/A
Sleep <50 uA** <50 uA** N/A N/A N/A
Memory bus
Bus width 32 bits 32 bits 32 bits 32 bits 32 bits
Programmable bus clocking synchronous mode (MHz)
/2 50.0
/3 33.3 53.3 66
/4 25.0 40.0 41.5 50.0 58.2
/5 20.0 32.0 33.2 40.0 46.6
/6 16.6 26.6 27.6 33.3 38.8
/7 14.2 22.8 23.7 28.6 33.3
/8 12.5 20.0 20.7 25.0 29.1
/9 11.1 17.8 18.4 22.2 25.8
Asynchronous mode External input — variable up to 66 MHz
Operating temperature range 0C to 70C 0C to 70C 0C to 70C 0C to 70C
Storage temperature range -40C to 125C -40C to 125C -40C to 125C -40C to 125C
* MCLK/CCLKK are off, PLL is on
** Vdd is off, PLL is off, O and I/Os are driven to a zero deasserted state



Clocking methodolgy  
External reference 3.68MHz crystal oscillator
Internal PLL Configurable 100 MHz, 160 MHz, 200 MHz
Processor microarchitecture  
Integer pipeline 5-stage pipeline
On-chip data cache 16kB write-back, 32-way set associative
On-chip instruction cache 16kB 32-way set associative
Write buffer 8 entries x 16 bytes/entry
MMU 32-entry IMMU/32-entry DMMU fully associative, each entry maps 4KB,64KB, or 1MB
Multiply signed or unsigned (12-bit multiplier with early termination)  
32x32 (32-bit result) 2-4 cycles (dependent on magnitude of operands)
32x32+32 (32-bit result) 2-4 cycles (dependent on magnitude of operands)
32x32 (64-bit result 3-5 cycles (dependent on magnitude of operands)
32x32+64 (64-bit result) 3-5 cycles (dependent on magnitude of operands)
Virtual addressing 32 bits
Physical addressing 32 bits
Manufacturing information  
Process technology 0.35 um, 3-layer metal
Manufacturing line DIGITAL’s FAB6, 8-inch wafer line
Die size 50 mm2
Transistor count 2.1 million
Package 144-pin LQFP*
* Note: the LQFP package is 1.4 mm thick.

Ordering Information

Part           Frequency        Order #

SA-110        100MHz           21281-BA
SA-110        160MHz           21281-AA
SA-110        200MHz           21281-CA

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* ARM and StrongARM are trademarks of Advanced RISC Machines, Ltd.
* Legal Information © 1999 Intel Corporation