| Austin, Texas Two core vendors have updated their audio offerings. ARM Ltd. has introduced intellectual property for adding digital audio functions to handheld devices such as cell phones and MP3 players. And Tensilica Inc. previewed its next-generation audio technology at the Spring Processor Forum last week. |
The ARM IP, called the Optimode audio edition, includes an ARM very long instruction word signal-processing core. Espico, a U.K.-based supplier of digital signal processors and codecs, supplies the software.
The hardware can be configured to be shut down in systems, such as handsets, where music recording and playback are a secondary function. System-on-chip de-signers can configure the number of data paths as well the type of local storage on the system. An ARM spokesman said the subsystem is power-efficient, citing an example of a 320-kbit/second stereo MP3 decode consuming 0.8 milliwatts at an operating voltage of 1.2 V.
Meanwhile, Tensilica's audio engine will improve performance by taking advantage of the Xtensa LX's capability to selectively use specially designed dual-issue 64-bit instructions, the company said. More than 300 audio-specific instructions are being added to the Xtensa LX configurable processor to optimize it for audio streams. Tensilica's first-generation audio product, the Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine, has been designed into ICs for several cellular handsets and other portable consumer devices. In the fall, the company expects to have the second-generation audio engine available for customer shipment.