VLSI Solution, Mentor Graphics Ink DSP Agreement Enriching Inventra IP Library
SAN JOSE, Calif., November 1, 1999 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced an agreement with VLSI Solution Oy that will add the popular 24-bit fixed-point digital signal processor (DSP) and companion six-channel direct memory access (DMA) controller cores to the Mentor Graphics® InventraTM library of intellectual property for system-on-chip designs. The two synthesizable cores will give Mentor customers easy access to a powerful processing engine for creating, among other things, high-fidelity audio systems that handle the multiple formats behind popular and emerging consumer and commercial entertainment systems. These formats include MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AC-3 (Dolby Digital), MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3), Digital Theater Systems (DTS), and Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP).
The cores to be initially offered through this partnership are VS56000DSP and VS56000DMA; the DSP is designed to be instruction-set compatible with the DSP56000 chip family, a de facto industry standard and popular 24-bit fixed-point architecture for high-fidelity digital audio processing. As such, the cores should pave a relatively easy migration path from existing board-level systems to low-cost systems on silicon. Chips built with these cores will find a home in audio applications, including set-top boxes and other consumer entertainment products; in Internet transport products; and in a long list of general markets that need a precision DSP. Telecom, datacom, radio communications, image and digital video processing, high-speed servo control, instrumentation, speech processing, and medical electronics are just some markets that will benefit from the DSP core and its companion DMA controller.
Among the VS56000DSP's compelling features is its fast arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs accurate signal processing over a 144-dB dynamic range, and its 56-bit accumulators, which maintain full precision for intermediate processing. Executing a basic instruction on every clock cycle, the DSP core achieves 50 to 70 MIPS (millions of instructions per second) when implemented in a 0.35-micron CMOS process, and is expected to reach 70 to 100 MIPS in 0.25-micron CMOS. Because the cores will be offered in fully synthesizable HDL, designers will enjoy full foundry and process independence. Moreover, the architecture's popularity means that development and debugging tools are readily available from third-party vendors. Assemblers, compilers, and DSP algorithms, as well as hardware emulation tools, are just some of the development tools that designers can buy today.
Market projections for discrete DSPs forecast a 22% annual growth over the next five years , and the growth rate for 24-bit DSPs is expected to track that market. These projections are for standard DSP chips, and they reflect a deepening need for such DSP cores as well.
"The growing demand for 24-bit DSPs is driving this agreement between VLSI and Mentor," said Tapani Ritoniemi, President and CEO of VLSI Solution Oy, Tampere, Finland. "We chose to collaborate with Mentor because of their unsurpassed offering of IP cores, worldwide distribution, excellent design support, and impressive track record for certifying and productizing IP for reusability." "This technology sourcing and remarketing alliance with VLSI Solution represents an added degree of freedom for system-on-chip designers," stated Mick O'Brien, general manager of the Mentor Graphics Inventra IP division. "Specifically, it means that Inventra customers will profit from access to a popular DSP architecture for a wide range of high-fidelity audio products, as well as products in many other markets. Anyone with DSP56000 family-based products will soon have, for the first time, this popular DSP in core form for manufacture by any foundry."
The agreement will make VLSI Solution's cores available through the Mentor worldwide sales channel in the first quarter of 2000.
About VLSI Solution Oy
Founded in 1991 by a team of DSP engineers specializing in telecommunications, VLSI Solution Oy is an IC design company involved in multi-level technology licensing, product development, and custom IC sales. Its designers specialize in very large scale integration of complex DSP-based systems and DSP algorithm development, where high density, low power consumption, and high performance are prerequisites. The company has successfully executed over 30 mixed signal and DSP chip designs, some integrating up to 10 million transistors. VLSI Solution Oy is located in Tampere, Finland. Its World Wide Web site is at http://www.vlsi.fi.
About the Inventra IP Division
Mentor Graphics' Inventra IP division provides a broad array of soft cores (intellectual property, or IP) that target a wide range of electronic consumer, computing, multimedia, and communications applications. The Inventra IP library of cores includes digital signal processors; Viterbi and Reed-Solomon encoders and decoders; audio codecs; bus interfaces; microprocessors; and communications functions, including those for ISDN and HDLC services. The cores are written in Verilog and VHDL hardware description languages (HDLs) that are synthesized into a gate-level representation. Because they are written in an HDL, the cores can be adapted easily to a number different processes and foundries, giving designers wide latitude in choosing suppliers.
About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products and consulting services for the world's largest electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of $500 million and employs approximately 2,600 people worldwide. Company headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.
Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark and Inventra is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.