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DSP cores offer wide compatibility with comms standards

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP core? communication IC? processor?

CEVA Inc. has announced CEVA-XC4000, a family of "universal advanced communications engines." The devices are designed to answer the ever-growing cellular, broadcast and connectivity markets. The CEVA-XC4000 family aims to help chip suppliers roll out new communication chips in a timely manner, while preserving investments in the development of generations of products, if possible.

Eyal Bergman, director of product marketing at CEVA, claims that the CEVA XC4000 family supports "the most complete array of communication standards." CEVA's XC4000 processors are based on a single, newly designed low-power DSP framework. They also maintain backward compatibility with the company's previous communication processors (i.e. XC321 and XC323).

The XC4000 family, which comes in six different processors, can cover a range of wireless and wired applications, according to CEVA. These communication standards include everything from cellular (LTE-A, LTE, HSPA+, W-CDMA. TD-SCDMA, GSM/GPRS/EDGDE), connectivity (802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11a/b/g/p, WiFi Direct, GNSS, Bluetooth, Peer2Peer) to DTV demodulation (DVB-T/2, DVB-S/2, DVB-C/2, ISDB-T, ATSC, DTMB) and others such as White Space, MoCA, DSL,, PLC and 802.15.4/g, CEVA said.


The XC4000 is based on a single, low-power DSP framework.

Each XC4000 processor, which comes with a varying number of vector units, is designed to be scalable. The variations range from a single vector unit and 16 MACs to 4 vector units and 128 MACs. "Our customers can mix and match these different XC4000 processors to address a wide range of communications markets," said Bergman. He further noted that this makes it easier for chip vendors to "scale up or down" their products' designs.

Bergman added that the XC4000 architecture features better "software and hardware partitioning." He pointed out that this is "truly optimized for power," thus making the family of XC4000 processors "highly competitive" with other communication chips on the market.

If you are already a CEVA licensee with its previous-generation communication DSP cores, "you can continue to use the compatible programming model and instruction set architecture you are familiar with, while leveraging the same, CEVA-developed tools," said CEVA's marketing VP, Eran Briman. "Licensees can scale their products, while preserving their investment."

The "uncompromising" modem quality XC4000 offers should be another draw for new licensees, the company said.

Together with its XC4000 architecture announcement, CEVA is also rolling out reference architectures for LTE-A Rel-10 and WiFi 802.11ac (supporting up to 1.7Gb/s).

The CEVA-XC4000 DSP architecture is supported by CEVA-Toolbox, a complete software development environment, incorporating Vec-C compiler technology for advanced vector processors, enabling the entire architecture to be programmed in C-level. An integrated simulator provides accurate and efficient verification of the entire system including the memory subsystems. In addition, CEVA-Tool-box includes libraries, a graphical debugger, and a complete optimization tool chain named CEVA Application Optimizer. The Application Optimizer enables automatic and manual optimization applied in the C source code.

The first member of the CEVA-XC4000 DSP series is available today for lead customers.

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