Nordic proves processing efficiency with the nRF54H20 SoC

21st September 2023
Sheryl Miles

Nordic announces that its nRF54H20 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) – the first in the nRF54H Series – has proven its processing efficiency, along with its processing performance.

This underscores the potential of the SoC to enable innovative IoT end-products that were previously impossible.

EEMBC ULPMark-CoreMark (ULPMark-CM) benchmarks the processor configured either for maximum processing efficiency or performance, using CoreMark as the workload.

The nRF54H20’s application processor achieved the following scores:

  • Configured for maximum processing efficiency: ULPMark-CM score of 170 with 515 CoreMark.
  • Configured for maximum processing performance: ULPMark-CM score of 132 with 1290 CoreMark.

The score shows that the application processor in the nRF54H20 offers a combination of processing efficiency and performance. Most processors are optimised for one of these attributes, but with nRF54H20 developers can take advantage of both, by dynamically changing between configurations.

"The results are remarkable," says Svein-Egil Nielsen, Nordic’s CTO and EVP of R&D. “Nordic has consistently set the standard for ultra-low power. By delivering world-leading processing efficiency and unmatched processing power, we're establishing a new industry norm.”

"The nRF54H20 is our fourth-generation product series. With it, we aim to redefine processing power and energy efficiency. We're eager to see what Nordic's customers can create with these wireless solutions."

Opening the door for replacing general-purpose MCUs in wireless IoT designs

The nRF54H20 SoC features multiple Arm Cortex-M33 processors and multiple RISC-V coprocessors optimised for specific types of workloads. The nRF54H20 is set to disrupt the market with the proven capabilities of an application processor designed for heavy processing with minimum power consumption. Moreover, the other processors in the SoC can assist with application processing, such that the overall processing performance of the SoC will be even higher.

Having enough processing power for advanced IoT applications integrated into a single low power wireless SoC enables a new approach to the design of end-products. A separate general-purpose MCU and an additional wireless SoC can be replaced with a single compact SoC. With this level of integration, new IoT end-products will consume less energy, will be smaller, and development will be simpler.

The benefits of processing efficiency and performance in IoT applications

The nRF54H20’s results against the EEMBC benchmarks bring positive tidings for developers building processor-intensive wireless designs demanding high efficiency. Wireless SoCs that can quickly process data and respond are crucial for battery-operated IoT devices requiring immediate actions such as industrial automation and healthcare monitoring. Other applications that will benefit from superior processing efficiency and performance are advanced wearables, smart home devices, and other devices using machine learning (ML), edge processing, or sensor fusion.

The nRF54H20 SoC is currently sampling to selected customers.

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