Dual-processor Architectures for Smartphones and Tablets

Enables system designers to quickly add a communication scheme into their dual-processor architecture

In consumer mobile application, Inter-Processor Communication (IPC) is a set of methods of exchanging data between two processors. These two processors can be any combination of application processors, baseband processors, connectivity processors and/or media processors. The most common examples of IPC use is dual mode phones and data cards. Processors are not designed to talk to each other. Most interfaces found in processors are masters or host controllers, such as I²C master, SPI master, and SDIO host controller. The master and host controller need to connect to a slave or a client controller.

QuickLogic’s IPC technology provides system designers a quick and easy method to build a common communication scheme between two processors. There are two types of architecture available for the designer to choose from:


ipc overview1

Direct communication scheme (Interface bridge)


ipc overview2

Indirect communication scheme (Shared memory)

With the built-in memory in every QuickLogic’s CSSP, designers can choose between two implementation schemes. In addition, designers can also choose the interface of their choices for the ease of implementation and to match the design performance requirement.


IPC blockdiagram

Shared memory is used for indirect communication scheme

Inter-processor Communication Architecture

System Design Challenges

A system designer is designing a dual mode phone with two baseband processors. Both processors only have SPI master controllers and need to share the incoming text messages to allow the user to forward text message received from one phone number to be sent out from a different phone number. In this case, an indirect communication scheme from QuickLogic can be used with two built-in SPI slave controllers to interface to two processors.

IPC Usecase

Available Platforms

Platform Features
PolarPro® 3E

The PolarPro 3E is the latest generation of QuickLogic's mobile programmable logic devices. It improves upon previous generations by adding embedded standard blocks commonly used in mobile FPGA designs. Featuring 3,500 effective logic cells in an extremely small 2.19 mm x 2.47 mm package, the PolarPro 3E is ideal for low power applications where long battery life is key to a positive user experience.

PolarPro 3

QuickLogic’s PolarPro 3 programmable logic devices are designed to address the next generation needs of mobile designers. Featuring 1,019 logic cells in an extremely small 2 x 2.5mm package, the PolarPro 3 operates on as little as 55µA static power, making it ideal for low power applications where long battery life is key to a positive user experience

PolarPro and PolarPro II

The PolarPro and PolarPro II solution platforms offer a spectrum of PSBs such as SDIO/SD/MMC, high speed UARTs, keyboard control, SPI and I²C ports, advanced clock management and others in low cost, small form factor packaging.

Have a Question?

If you have questions for our solution experts, please contact us!