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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know About Blu-ray Audio

Although Blu-ray discs look physically like DVDs, there are many differences including many differences in the audio. This white paper discusses those differences and the design issues surrounding the development of audio subsystems for Blu-ray disc players and related equipment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Apnote: Fast Interrupt Handling

Fast interrupt handling is important to system throughput and responsiveness. This application note describes a method to use existing Xtensa features and configuration options to support very fast interrupt handling. This note focuses on the interrupt handling case, i.e, that case where one task is running, but is preempted at some random point by an external or timer interrupt, which then performs an independent task. See

Thursday, September 24, 2009

White Paper: Get Your ASICs and SOCs Off the Bus!

This paper describes the most common hardware mechanisms - buses, direct connections, and data queues - used to interconnect processor cores on ASICs. It explains how direct processor-to-processor connections reduce the cost and latency of inter-processor communications.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Whitepaper: 10 Tips for Successful SOC Design

SOC designs are major projects. They can produce high-volume, immensely profitable chips but not without risk, as is true for any big project. Most SOC design projects do not complete on time or on budget. Too many are not completed at all. Although there is some risk involved, the rewards for success are great. These 10 tips will help your team find the path to a successful SOC design. See

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2pm PT today (Wed) - See Grant Martin at SOC Online Conference

EETimes SOC online conference today - see 2pm discussion: Economics of Next-Generation SoC Design: A node too far? with Tensilica Chief Scientist Grant Martin. More info at Don't miss it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have You Checked the Processor and DSP Checklist?

SOC designs are major, high-risk projects and most consist of many IP blocks-some developed in house and some purchased. Many of the most complex blocks are processors and DSPs. With their associated software-development tools, simulation models, and EDA flow scripts, these processor IP blocks can literally make or break your project. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself, your team, and any processor IP providers you contact.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New ConnX Baseband Engine Product Brief

See what a DSP with 16 18-bit MACs/cycle can do for you. Perfect for next-gen baseband radios and receivers. Hot off the press (or at least newly posted to the web site).

Sign Up Now For EETimes SOC Online Conference Wed 9/16

Tensilica's Chief Scientist Grant Martin will participate in panel at 5 pm Eastern Time: Economics of Next-Generation SoC Design: A node too far?

The cost of both design and manufacturing is growing exponentially at each new technology node. The largest chip companies will continue to push scaling forward for the foreseeable future. But what about the rest of the field? At what point does it stop making sense for companies to move to the next node? To what degree is this a function of design and/or verification costs? In what application areas does it make sense for companies to deploy FPGA-based SoC designs. This panel will examine the state of the economics of different forms of SoC design, delve into specific areas of increasing costs (verification, etc.) and try to ascertain whether there is any relief on the horizon.

See the entire schedule and sign up now:;jsessionid=1UQ1JNW4L3TCPQE1GHPSKH4ATMY32JVN

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's what they don't tell you about power specs that matter.

Anyone familiar with board-level design has developed an intuitive feel for packaged-processor power specifications: the processor draws a certain amount of power, give or take a percentage based on process variation and speed binning. For a variety of reasons, this intuition utterly fails with respect to vendor specifications for processor core IP. Read our white paper: Processor Core Power Specs: A Cautionary Tale at

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Have You Seen the Video?

See how easy it is to configure an Xtensa processor with just the options you need. Tensilica's CTO Chris Rowen leads you through an actual example.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Read Microprocessor Report's review of ConnX Baseband Engine

Every "radio" in notebooks, netbooks, smartphones, mobile Internet devices, WiMAX, DTV, digital radio and more - with a chip-scale wireless transmit/receive unit - needs a baseband processor. See what Microprocess Report had to say about Tensilica's Baseband Engine.

Back from vacation - now back to work

Just spent a very nice week in South Lake Tahoe - we're so lucky in California to have wonderful places to drive to for vacation. Now I'm back and getting into the swing of things here at Tensilica. We're going to have a busy fall.