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Samsung licenses Ceva's DSP core for 3G handsets

Posted: 20 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:samsung electronics? ceva? dsp core? multimedia handsets? cellular handset?

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd will license Ceva Inc.'s X1620 DSP core to power its next-generation 3G multimedia handsets.

Samsung is known for its laser-like focus on the high-end of the handset market. The new core has been specifically optimized to enable it to perform both baseband as well as multimedia applications processing.

The 1620 is the first implementation of the Ceva-X architecture that was launched in December 2003. Scalable with two, four, or eight multiply-accumulates (MACs), the 16-bit, very long instruction word, single-instruction, multiple data (SIMD) core is fully synthesizable and operates at up to 450 MHz at 0.13?m. Samsung licensed the dual-MAC version.

When the core was released, it topped most DSPs in terms of performance, as judged by benchmarks set by Berkeley Design Technologies Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.). At 450MHz in a 0.13?m implementation, the core reached 3,620 on the BDTIsimMark2000 suite, which emphasizes communications and audio applications.

"This is a continuation of our relationship with Samsung, as they have already been licensing our Ceva Teak and TeakLite cores," said Derek Meyer, vice president of business development at Ceva. "It's not a replacement strategy at Samsung, but an entire new [handset] product."

"This is big deal for Ceva," said Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts Inc. (Tempe, Arizona) However, he added, "Samsung also licenses from Qualcomm, Agere and ADI and also makes their own DSPs," he added. "Nonetheless, it's further validation for the company, which already licenses DSPs to Infineon, which ships over 42 million chips per year using a Ceva core, though it records them as ASICs."

The deal is further distinguished, said Meyer, by the fact that it links a core vendor and a systems OEM. "We're particularly excited because this is our highest-performing DSP core and it's now succeeding in the side of the market we intended, namely baseband and applications processing."

The deal is the largest for the new core, though Meyer said other, less significant deals were in the works. He would not elaborate.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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