"Award Winning" New SIMD Extensions Offer a 10x Improvement in Workload Compared to Non-SIMD TechnologiesFALL PROCESSOR FORUM, San Jose, Calif., October 25, 2005
– ARC International plc (LSE: ARK) today disclosed a set of 104 new 128-bit wide customized instructions that take advantage of parallelism inherent in multimedia applications. Based on a technique known as SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data), these instructions reduce power consumption by increasing application performance without raising the processor clock speed. ARC’s new SIMD instructions are fully compatible with the ARCompact™ 16- and 32-bit instruction set architecture (ISA) and will be incorporated into an upcoming Multimedia subsystem and other products from ARC International. ARC also announced today that its new SIMD extensions won “Product of the Year Award” at the Global Signal Processing conference (GSPx) – see companion press release dated October 25, 2005.
Multimedia and networking are examples of embedded processing tasks that contain a high degree of application-level parallelism. SIMD technology can deliver a 10x performance improvement in such applications, and ARC’s new 128-bit SIMD extensions exploit this parallelism more efficiently than superscalar architectures and techniques such as symmetric multi-threading (SMT).
“ARC’s announced SIMD extensions for multimedia add flexibility and system optimization on top of a seamless programming environment,” said Max Baron, principal analyst at In-Stat. “Capable of dynamically coupling the new architectural block to the ARC core or operating independently, the architecture also includes a definition of the DMA required for interfacing it to the system.”
“ARC’s SIMD extensions are about reducing power for multimedia SoCs,” said Derek Meyer, senior vice president of sales and marketing for ARC International. “Using our patented configurable CPU technology, we have been able to create a set of over 100 custom SIMD instructions that accelerate performance and lower power. And, unlike a coprocessor approach, our customers will benefit from a unified programming environment in which they can take advantage of these extensions.”Using SIMD in an ARC™ Multimedia Subsystem
ARC’s Multimedia subsystems marry the inherent advantages of the company’s configurable processor technology with extendible custom hardware acceleration blocks and optimized firmware. The result is a family of subsystems that are independent of the host processor, require less power consumption compared to non-configurable hardware platforms and scale across a wide range of applications.
ARC’s SIMD extensions target media processing and application-specific SIMD functions. A direct memory access (DMA) engine is coupled with the SIMD extensions, speeding system performance. Both the DMA engine and SIMD extensions are compatible with the ARCompact ISA and available as predefined options in the ARChitect™ processor configurator.Development Support
Because ARC’s SIMD extensions are compatible with the 16- and 32-bit ARCompact ISA, SoC designers can easily leverage the optimized software and development tools for cores within the 700 family. Furthermore, as part of a unified SoC design environment a single chain can be used, which greatly simplifies programming when compared to multiple core implementations or environments where more than one architecture is used.
“The industry leading MQX RTOS will fully support the ARC 700 family’s SIMD and DMA extensions,” said Craig Slayter, vice president and general manager of MQX Embedded, a business unit of ARC International. “MQX Embedded’s run-time software and the MetaWare Development Toolkit for ARC will provide a cost-effective, fast, power-efficient and space-optimizing platform for next-generation multimedia consumer electronics products.”
The MQX RTOS is an example of the wide range of development tools and operating systems that are available to licensees designing with ARC’s cores and subsystems. Industry-leading third party companies providing optimized products for ARC include:Codito Technologies
“Codito is very excited about ARC’s SIMD extensions,” said Pantanjali Somayaji, chief executive officer for Codito. “We see a lot of value provided to SoC designers, because they now can exploit application-level parallelism and the immense configurability of ARC cores. As ARC’s Linux partner, Codito will be providing full support for the new SIMD infrastructure in Linux and the GCC toolchain.”Express Logic
“As the industry continues its rapid adoption of configurability, the ThreadX RTOS is becoming the technology-of-choice for SoC designers using ARC,” said William E. Lamie, founder and president of Express Logic. “This SIMD announcement underscores ARC’s position as the leader in configurability. By using ThreadX with ARC’s configurable CPU and DSP cores, our joint customers will benefit from an optimized development environment that enables the creation of low-cost solutions for high-volume embedded markets.”Green Hills Software
“Green Hills Software is excited about extending its MULTI debugger to support the new ARC SIMD instructions,” said Craig Franklin, senior vice president of Green Hills. “ARC hardware and MULTI software tools lead the configurable CPU market. With SIMD, ARC extends its range of power efficient DSP solutions.”Tao Group
“We believe that advanced multimedia solutions benefit from a holistic approach to system design. SoC and system designers now can take advantage of these SIMD extensions to the ARC 700 family by using Tao’s intent multimedia software platform,” said Dr. Paddy Byers, chief technical officer for Tao. “The intent platform is uniquely able to make use of such new hardware features to execute high performance, low power multimedia centric applications.” Virage Logic Corporation
“With the announcement of the ARC 750D core and SIMD extensions, ARC has positioned itself among the leaders in the field,” said Jim Ensell, vice president of marketing and business development for Virage Logic. “The results ARC’s new SIMD extensions are able to deliver underscore the fact that selecting the right physical IP is key to maximizing overall processor performance.”About ARC International plc
ARC International is the world leader in low-power, high-performance 32-bit configurable CPU/DSP processor cores, subsystems, real-time operating systems and development tools for embedded system design. ARC’s patented configurable CPU technology assists customers in the development of next generation digital media, consumer and communications devices, resulting in lower cost, higher performance SoC products.
ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate offices in San Jose, California, USA and Elstree, UK. The company has research and development offices located in England and the United States. For more information please visit the ARC website at: www.ARC.com
. ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE: ARK).