Game platform offers peak performance at low cost

Nass, Richard
July 2004
Portable Design;Jul2004, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p22
An ARC microprocessor is at the heart of the Leapster game platform and educational multimedia product from Leapfrog. The processor starts as a power-efficient soft core that prides itself on flexibility. Part of ARC's methodology is to look at the software a customer is trying to run and tune the processor to fit that application. This tuning is augmented by a handful of digital signal processing instructions. Theoretically, the maximum performance should be achieved. Another design goal was to power Leapster from four AA cells. The high number of capacitors on the board comes from the challenge of having a product in a plastic-only case, with all the potential interference issues. This insistence on a plastic case reverts back to the cost goal; Leapster retails for about $80.


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