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Synopsys touts complete audio IP subsystem

Posted: 12 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio IP subsystem? SoC design? FPGA?

Synopsys Inc. has presented what it declares as a complete, integrated hardware and software audio IP subsystem for SoC designs. The DesignWare SoundWave Audio Subsystem is fully configurable and supports 2-7.1 audio streams with 24bit precision to meet the requirements of various audio applications such as DTVs, STBs, Blu-ray discs, portable audio devices and tablets, said the company.

The SoundWave Audio Subsystem consists of the following components: DesignWare ARC 32bit audio processors, standard digital interfaces, analog codecs, a comprehensive library of software audio codecs supporting the latest formats from Dolby, DTS and SRS, and a complete software environment including an integrated media streaming framework. It also includes both virtual and FPGA-based prototypes to help engineering teams accelerate software development and validation of the full system, described the company.

Integrated Hardware
The SoundWave Audio Subsystem features the choice of an ARC single or dual-core power-efficient 32bit audio processor optimized for processing multiple high-definition, multichannel audio streams in parallel. The subsystem includes digital I2S and S/PDIF interfaces for off-chip audio connections as well as high-bandwidth on-chip connections to interfaces such as HDMI. ARM AMBA 3 AXI/AHB protocol system interfaces ease integration into the SoC infrastructure. Analog audio codecs provide high-quality audio connections for line inputs and outputs, microphones, loud speakers and headphones. An easy-to-use configuration tool allows designers to quickly select options such as number of channels and number of audio interfaces, enabling a complete audio subsystem to be configured in hours instead of weeks if done manually, said Synopsys. The company also offers SoC integration services to help customers integrate the subsystem into their chip or customize it to meet their unique application requirements.

Dedicated Software
The SoundWave Audio Subsystem offers a complete, ready-to-use software environment including audio codecs that support the latest multichannel audio formats from Dolby Laboratories (e.g., Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD), DTS (e.g., DTS HD Master Audio), SRS Labs (e.g., TruSurround HD4 and TruVolume) and Microsoft (e.g., WMA 10 Pro), as well as popular open source formats such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. The SoundWave Audio Subsystem's integrated media streaming framework embeds decoders, encoders and audio post-processing functions such as volume control, equalization and surround balance. The framework allows software codecs and post-processing software to be easily instantiated into the subsystem. Audio plug-ins based on the industry-standard GStreamer multimedia software enable developers to quickly integrate audio subsystem software into their host application software.

Virtual and Hardware Prototypes
Developers of software-rich electronic devices, particularly those targeted at the mobile and consumer markets, must address not only the escalating amount of software content in their designs, but also the challenge of developing the software and integrating it with the hardware, noted the company. To ease the software development effort, a Synopsys Virtualizer-based virtual prototype of the SoundWave Audio Subsystem enables early integration of the audio software stack with the application software, months before silicon becomes available. The audio subsystem's HAPS FPGA-based prototyping solution enables immediate software development and provides a scalable platform for rapid full system integration and validation.

The DesignWare Audio Subsystem is available for early adopters with general availability planned for April.

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