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Android framework for energy efficient multi-core systems

Posted: 22 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Android Multimedia Framework? CPU? DSP?

CEVA Inc. has announced what it touts as a low-energy software framework for Android based systems that can cut the power consumption required for complex multimedia processing using a heterogeneous CPU and DSP system architecture. The Android Multimedia Framework (AMF) addresses the most intensive, real-time signal processing applications including audio, voice, imaging and vision, and seamlessly offloads the related tasks from the CPU to the CEVA DSPs at the Android OS level, noted the company.

Android developers can leverage the superior low energy nature of CEVA's industry-leading DSPs through the AMF to realise significant power savings when integrating high performance multimedia functionality into their applications, the firm stated. For example, always-on applications such as face recognition and voice trigger, including mandatory multi-microphone noise suppression, can be completely offloaded from the CPU onto a low power CEVA DSP through the AMF, allowing the CPU to be completely shut down and resulting in approximately 10x power saving for these applications.

Using AMF, Android supports CEVA DSPs in various system configurations including on-chip offloading for application processors, as well as off-chip offloading for companion chips and stand-alone DSP chips. These include audio codec chips incorporating a DSP and image sensors coprocessors incorporating a DSP. Using standard OpenMAX API, AMF complies with current Android 4.x versions.

The AMF allows multimedia tasks to be abstracted from the CPU and are physically running on the DSP. Furthermore, tasks can be combined ("tunnelled") onto the DSPsaving data transfer, memory bandwidth and cycles overhead on the CPU. It also lets developers use multiple DSPs in the system through AMF, e.g. multiple CEVA-TeakLite-4 DSPs, or CEVA-TeakLite-4 for audio/voice and CEVA-MM3101 for imaging/vision tasks.

In addition the use of power scaling units for CEVA DSPs significantly lower power consumption further, when running multimedia tasks, said CEVA. The AMF also allows for a easy activation of CEVA-CV computer vision (CV) software library for the development of vis

ion-enabled applications targeting mobile, home, PC and automotive. It likewise offers support for future standards such as OpenVX, a hardware acceleration API for computer vision. Moreover, the platform touts automatic tile management for multimedia tasks that includes managing memory transfers and organisation into DSP memory for efficient processing. It also boasts an optional real-time operating system (RTOS) for the DSP.

The CEVA AMF layers include code and drivers both on the CPU side as well as the DSP side including inter-processor communication modules between the cores and smart scheduling for offloading tasks from the CPU to the DSP.

The AMF is available for the CEVA-TeakLite-4 audio/voice DSP, the CEVA-MM3101 imaging and vision platform, and the CEVA-X general purpose DSP.

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