Monday, April 23, 2012

Tensilica reaches audio DSP milestones

SANTA CLARA, USA: Tensilica Inc. announced that it has reached several important milestones for its leading HiFi Audio/Voice DSPs (digital signal processors), the most widely-used audio/voice DSP IP cores on the market.

Tensilica's customers have shipped over 300 million of its audio/voice DSP cores for use in digital televisions, smartphones, Blu-ray Disc players, automotive, audio/video receivers, portable digital radio and other consumer electronics equipment. Tensilica and its network of 30 plus partners have ported and optimized over 100 audio/voice encoders and decoders, audio enhancement software and pre-processing packages.

"The 300 million milestone is just the tip of the iceberg," stated Larry Przywara, Tensilica's senior director of multimedia marketing. "By 2014 we expect to ship approximately one billion HiFi cores a year. The need to support a wide range of software packages, and the large costs associated with the support and maintenance, has resulted in many companies deciding to use our standard audio/voice DSPs. Plus, we've automated the process of customizing all of our IP cores so companies can add essential features to differentiate their cores if required."

Tensilica has seen an explosion in the amount of software that needs to be supported, particularly complex software from industry giants like Dolby and DTS, and the effort to support and certify that software can be very expensive. (Tensilica supports seven Dolby and ten DTS audio packages on the HiFi Audio/Voice DSPs.) That's why so many companies have stopped porting software to their old, proprietary audio DSP architectures.

If companies have any legacy software they need to run, Tensilica makes it easy because all porting can be done from C code, with no assembly coding required. In addition to a strong development team, Tensilica has put in place a group to focus only on maintenance and support of already developed software to ensure continued audio performance quality even under the increasing number of difficult streams coming from the Internet.

Tensilica's third party audio enhancement software partners include Acoustic Technologies, AM3D, Arkamys, Audyssey, Dolby, DTS, QSound, Sensory, and SRS, and Tensilica is working with several more that will be announced later this year once the software is ported. While audio enhancement is essential for home entertainment and gaming, it is now becoming much more important for smartphones as sophisticated content is downloaded and phone makers try to improve voice quality in noisy locations.

The audio/voice enhancement software packages range from echo cancellation to noise suppression, stereo widening, virtual surround sound, speech activation, equalization, and software to enhance 3D gaming.

Tensilica's HiFi Audio/Voice DSPs are the leading audio DSP IP cores, licensed by over 45 customers. The HiFi Audio DSPs support over 100 audio and voice codecs and enhancement packages with very efficient processing and low power. The HiFi Audio DSPs are part of Tensilica's growing line of dataplane processors (DPUs) that efficiently do the challenging, compute-intensive tasks in SOC designs and can be used "as is" or customized for added differentiation.

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