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Trinity, ARM shake on soft VoIP solution

Posted: 27 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:arm? trinity convergence? vericall edge software? arm926ej-s? microprocessor?

ARM Ltd is porting Trinity Convergence Inc.'s VeriCall Edge software to the ARM926EJ-S microprocessor core, supporting Trinity's efforts to make the voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) soft-processor architecture a viable alternative to DSP-based solutions.

As cable and telephony providers rush to deliver VoIP to home customers, equipment vendors are looking to reduce the cost of customer-premises equipment (CPE). Taking a page from the 56K modem playbook, Trinity is offering a soft VoIP framework architecture that can run on a general-purpose processor, such as an ARM core. This approach lowers costs by reducing the size and power required in a DSP-based solution, Trinity said.

"The analog-modem market moved away from having dedicated DSP," said Mark Felice, co-founder and VP of sales and marketing at (Trinity ). "We're taking the same model and bringing it into the residential VoIP space."

The media-processing block in Trinity's VeriCall EDGE soft processor architecture delivers a speech algorithm library, a telephony library and a library for third-party software. The software solution also includes a device manager interface for audio and packet connections, a packet handler that provides quality-of-service and framing techniques, an echo canceler library and an SIP stack for call control. Third-party or customer-specific software can be added through an open application programming interface, Felice said.

Designers can eliminate a DSP from their design by implementing these capabilities in software, Felice said, leading to what the company said was a $3 to $8 saving in bill-of-materials (BoM) costs. This approach also reduces overall power consumption by 200- to 250mW, critical in applications such as voice-over-wireless LAN, Felice said.

But the success of the VeriCall Edge architecture will rest on Trinity's close links to strong general-purpose processors like ARM's. The ARM9E is quickly becoming a de facto processor in residential CPE designs, Trinity said.

The ARM926EJ-S includes signal-processing extensions to enhance 16-bit fixed-point performance using a single-cycle 32 x 16 multiply-accumulate unit. It also implements ARM's 16-bit Thumb instruction set. The processor includes ARM's Jazelle technology, which enables the direct execution of Java byte codes in hardware.

Trinity will initially deliver a version of its VeriCall software for the ARM9 processor that runs on Linux. It plans future versions that will support VxWorks, Symbian and Microsoft CE.Net.

- Robert Keenan

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