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DSP core promises high performance at low power

Posted: 04 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP core? HiFi audio? mobile application?

Tensilica has developed the HiFi EP, a superset of the HiFi 2 architecture optimized for simultaneous multichannel codec support and continuously expanding audio pre- and post-processing.

These enhancements result in up to 40 percent lower power and up to a 50 percent size reduction over competing solution.

The HiFi EP Audio DSP adds 32x24 MAC for higher performance at lower power on the popular DTS Master Audio Lossless decoder used in Blu-ray Disc devices.

DTS Master Audio decoding on the HiFi EP DSP requires only 115MHz of processing power, a savings of over 40 percent compared to other licensable DSP cores, thus reducing power consumption and making it possible to implement a full Blu-ray Disc-capable home entertainment audio subsystem on only one HiFi EP core.

Other DSP architectures require the use of two on-chip DSPs, translating into an increase of 2x or more in chip area and power.

Because of the efficiency of the architecture, power consumption is minimized making HiFi EP well-suited for low-power portable applications.

To address the increasingly demanding requirements in mobile and VoIP applications for better immunity to background noise and speakerphone mode quality, new instructions have been added to accelerate voice pre- and post-processing for noise cancellation and beam forming microphones.

These instructions also provide better general DSP capabilities. Tensilica also enhanced the cache memory subsystem for HiFi EP DSPs with a predictive prefetch unit to improve performance in high memory latency SoC designs while preserving ease of programming.

In a Blu-ray Disc SoC with a typical 100 cycle memory access latency to off-chip memory, a HiFi EP DSP can run the complete worst-case workload Blu-ray Disc suite (DTS Master Audio Lossless 5.1 channels at 192kHz, DTS Express 5.1 channels at 48kHz, upsample, downsample, mixing and DTS Transcode to 5.1 channels at 48kHz) in only 384MHz.

Competing architectures often require 600- to 800MHz of DSP bandwidth for the same workload.

- Julien Happich
EE Times

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