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Multicore DSPs support HD audio standards

Posted: 10 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP? CMOS? DTS-HD? Dolby Digital+? Dolby TrueHD?

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Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled two DSP chips designed to support multiple high definition (HD) audio standards. The Symphony DSP56720 and DSP56721 dual-core DSPs represent the first offerings in a family of multicore 24bit audio processors from the company.

"The performance demands of audio have increased exponentially over the past five years, and we believe this new line of multicore DSPs will drive next generation products that provide unprecedented user experiences, such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players, A/V receivers, guitar amplifiers and more," said Berardino Baratta, general manager, multimedia applications division at Freescale.

Symphony DSP56720 and DSP56721 are processed in 90nm CMOS technology and include two DSP cores, on-chip memory and a rich set of peripherals to create a robust audio offering that promises quality performance, cost, board space and design improvements.

Reduces board space, cost
These single-chip solutions were designed using dual DSP56300 24bit cores, which handle both the latest decoding standards and advanced post processing on the same chip. Each core operates at 200MIPS with a 200MHz clock, enabling the chip to meet the high performance requirements of many audio applications including HD audio standards such as DTS-HD, Dolby Digital+ and Dolby TrueHD. Currently, many of today's high performance audio products use multichip DSP implementations. The Symphony audio multicore DSPs eliminate the need for a multichip solution, reducing board space and the cost of the design.

The new DSPs feature integrated memory, including on-chip 608K x 24bit words ROM and 248K x 24bit words RAM. With the large amount of built-in memory, the DSP56721 eliminates the need for external memory for most consumer applications and provides a single-chip offering that delivers a cost-effective, simple solution. The DSP56720 adds an external memory interface for audio applications that use external memory to accommodate long delays (reverbs, lip sync). Both DSPs integrate an SPD/IF transceiver and a 10-channel asynchronous sample rate converter (ASRC) that reduces component cost. Additionally, the DMA controller has been expanded to support up to eight DMA channels per core for higher bandwidth and more processing.

Backward compatible
Code-compatible with Freescale's existing 24bit DSP solutions, the Symphony DSP56720 and DSP56721 enable customers to migrate quickly and easily to a higher performance solution. Both devices incorporate the same plug-and-play software architecture that exists in the Freescale DSP563xx family and support not just the standard audio decoders but also enable flexibility and customization of post processing algorithms.

Symphony DSP56720 and DSP56721, the first in a family of multicore audio DSPs, are targeted at consumer, professional audio and automotive applications that require high performance for audio processing, such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players, home A/V receivers, car amplifiers and infotainment systems, professional audio recording equipment, and musical instruments and amplifiers. With two DSP56300 cores, a single Symphony audio DSP56720 or DSP56721 device can replace multi-DSP designs, saving cost while meeting today's high MIPS requirements.

Software devt tool
Along with the introduction of the multicore DSP56720 and DSP56721, Freescale is developing a new software development tool suite to support the multicore DSP567xx family as well as the single-core DSP563xx family. The new tool suite will include an integrated development environment (IDE), provide a single debugger to target a hardware or software simulator and provide support for parallel port and USB command converters. The new software suite will be available in Q2 2007.

The Symphony audio DSP56720 and DSP56721 multicore solutions are sampling in limited quantities. Volume production is expected in Q3 2007. Suggested resale price is expected to be $11.89 for 10,000 quantity.

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