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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wolfson Licenses Tensilica's Hifi EP Audio

Goal: create a low-power, high definition sound platform. Combining Wolfson’s world-leading mixed-signal technology and audio expertise with Tensilica’s innovative HiFi audio digital signal processor (DSP) cores, this licence agreement will bring HD sound to multimedia platforms, including mobile handsets, netbooks, smartbooks, digital TVs and other multimedia devices.

With HD video a well-established standard in today’s consumer electronics world, this partnership will set the benchmark for HD sound and address consumer demand for crystal clear audio.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Resolving the Grand Paradox: Low Energy and Full Programmability in 4G Mobile Baseband SOCs

Click on the headline above to see Dr. Chris Rowen's presentation at the CoolChips conference in Yokohama, Japan (the presentation is in English) on April 15.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ConnX 545CK DSP Core Gets Faster, Smaller, Lower Power

Our third-generation ConnX 545CK 8-MAC VLIW DSP core for SOC designs delivers up to 20% faster clock speed, 11% smaller die area and up to 30% lower power consumption.

See our Product page as well and download the product brief.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Xtensa 8 or Xtensa LX3 - Which is Right for You?

Xtensa LX3 is a super-set of all Xtensa 8 features. But do you really need them all? Check out this page to see which one is best for your application.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ultra-Low-Power Software-Defined Radio for LTE Wireless Baseband

See Dr. Chris Rowen's presentation to the IEEE Silicon Valley chapter meeting, where he discussed the embedded systems challenges to SDR.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Application Engineering Jobs Open - Plus More

We have an applications engineer job open in Santa Clara, CA, USA, and an audio specialist at our office in Pune, India. See our full list of job openings.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free ThreadX Eval Download

Express Logic's popular ThreadX RTOS supports all of Tensilica's Diamond Standard and Xtensa configurable processor cores. The combination of ThreadX and Tensilica’s Xtensa is already production-proven in a high-volume SOC design used in personal laser printers.

ThreadX is a small-footprint RTOS with real-time determinism that enables Tensilica customers to support applications that demand high-performance, low overhead, and fast time-to-market. As a full port to all of the Tensilica products, ThreadX supports Tensilica’s onchip coprocessors including its floating point unit, Vectra DSP engine and special Tensilica Instruction Extension (TIE) cases. The simplicity and low cost of ThreadX, including its royalty-free licensing, make it attractive for high-volume applications in consumer devices, office automation, medical equipment and networking. ThreadX has been widely embraced and is currently deployed in over 300 million electronic products.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

White Paper: A Designer’s Guide to HD Video Pre- and Post-Processing

HD video encoding and decoding algorithms get the bulk of attention by designers developing such products, but HD video codecs for advanced video applications such as broadcast television and Blu-ray disc players have quickly become standardized; there’s little room for product differentiation in a standardized video codec. However, you can substantially differentiate an HD product’s design by improving the video image stream—both before video compression and after.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Updated White Paper: Everything You Wanted to Know about SOC Memory

This paper discussed the many alternatives for on-chip and off-chip memory usage that SOC designer must understand. It discusses the essentials of memory organizations for multicore designs, on-chip SRAM and DRAM, local memories and caches, on-chip non-volatile memories, and memory controllers for off-chip memory.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Using Multiple Processors in the SOC Dataplane

There are several advantages to using multiple processors as SOC task building blocks. One of the biggest is that processors are inherently programmable, so functional changes can be made to the chip’s operation using firmware after the chip design is finished and even after the chip has been fabricated. Complex state machines can be implemented in firmware running on the processors, greatly reducing verification time.

In addition, a multiple-processor-based design approach promotes the flexible sharing and reuse of on-chip memories while reducing the overall amount of memory needed.

Design with multiple processors facilitates system modeling with instruction-set simulators, which are much faster and more efficient than RTL-based system simulation. Read more about it here.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

CTO Chris Rowen Speaking at CoolChips XIII in Yokohama, Japan

On Wednesday, April 14 at 10 am Dr. Rowen will discuss "Resolving the Grand Paradox: Low Energy and Full Programmability in 4G Mobile Baseband SOCs". On one hand, increased mobility dictates smaller batteries, longer battery life and improved energy efficiency. On the other hand, the complexity of new baseband standards like LTE - plus the multimedia, network protocols and application services enabled by fast baseband - dictate increased programmability, ubiquitous multi-core and more software layers. Rowen will describe practical successes for ultra-low energy processors used for LTE PHY subsystem designs achieving 150Mbps data rates in less than 250mW. And he will conclude that resolving this paradox has a domino effect on wireless infrastructure, DTV and wired communications.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Read BDTI's Independent Analysis of the Vectra LX DSP Engine

Tensilica's Vectra XL DSP engine is a quad-MAC DSP powerhouse. Once added to a base XTensa LX processor core with just a click of a configuration button, the Vectra LX DSP uses 64-bit instruction words containing 3 issue slots for ALU, multiply-accumulate, and load/store operations.

Like all configuration options, Vectra LX is fully supported by the entire Tensilica software environment including advanced auto-vectorization capabilities in the Xtensa C/C++ Compiler (XCC). XCC enables the Vectra LX engine designers to reap the benefits of vector processing on a SIMD engine without manual assembly level programming.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

New Job Opening: Sr. Baseband System Archtiect - Santa Clara, CA USA

Know anyone good for this job? Our Baseband business is exploding because of the success of our ConnX Baseband Engine (BBE16). We want this success to continue. Here's part of the job description:

Key member of the baseband segment team for Tensilica working in the Office of the CTO. The baseband solutions architecture work with the overall baseband team to help define how Tensilica's DSP, multi-core and configurable processor technologies fits into wired and wireless communications systems designs, as well as defining and articulating the features and architectures required of next generation processor technology to serve the baseband segment.

Monday, April 05, 2010

White Paper: How to Avoid the Traps and Pitfalls of SOC Design

Chances are pretty good that your current SOC design approach is making your job much harder than it needs to be. Old bus-based architectures aren't efficient. Clock rates can't keep rising. What does work? Find out by reading this white paper.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Samsung Blu-ray Disc Player uses HiFi Audio

The Samsung BD-C6 900 3D Blu-ray Disc player uses Tensilica's HiFi Audio DSP. The player comes with support for 3D Blu-ray media playback at 1080p Full HD quality and has built-in support for WiFi connectivity. It can access the Internet@TV service and is BD-Live Ready. The BD-C6900 supports Dolby Digital , Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential HD audio decoding, 7.1-channel output and 1080p DVD upscaling.