New software framework integrates CEVA DSPs with Android OS, allowing seamless offload of intensive multimedia tasks from the main CPU, and enabling advanced low-power application development for audio, voice, imaging and vision related functions
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 18, 2013 -- CEVA, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEVA), the leading licensor of silicon intellectual property (SIP) platform solutions and DSP cores, today introduced a new low-energy software framework for Android based systems, which efficiently reduces the power consumption required for complex multimedia processing using a heterogeneous CPU and DSP system architecture. Known as Android Multimedia Framework (AMF™), the framework 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 Operation System (OS) level. Previously, the DSP was detached from the Android OS, requiring system programmers to implement multimedia tasks and partitioning at the CPU level, resulting in inefficient use of the CPU to perform complex, power hungry DSP tasks.
Eran Briman, vice president of marketing at CEVA, commented: "This comprehensive software framework bridging our application-specific DSPs to the Android OS is an important milestone for our customers utilizing CEVA's DSPs and multimedia platforms. AMF was developed in close collaboration with the CEVA ecosystem of software, system and silicon vendors, contributing their vast expertise to the design process. The benefits of enabling Android developers direct access to the processing capabilities of our DSPs are huge, delivering significant power savings for signal processing-intensive tasks and enabling the development of a whole new generation of applications for audio, voice, imaging and vision, which were not practical to implement on CPU centric architectures."
Android developers can leverage the superior low energy nature of CEVA's industry-leading DSPs through the AMF to realize significant power savings when integrating high performance multimedia functionality into their applications. 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.
Utilizing AMF, the Android OS 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 the current Android 4.x versions. Other benefits/functions enabled by AMF include:
- Multimedia tasks are abstracted from the CPU and are physically running on the DSP. Furthermore, tasks can be combined ("tunneled") onto the DSP - saving data transfer, memory bandwidth and cycles overhead on the CPU
- Scalability – developers can utilize 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
- Utilization of the PSU (Power Scaling Unit) available for CEVA DSPs to significantly lower power consumption further, when running multimedia tasks
- Easy activation of CEVA-CV computer vision (CV) software library for the development of vision-enabled applications targeting mobile, home, PC and automotive
- Support for future standards such as OpenVX, a hardware acceleration API for computer vision
- Automatic tile management for multimedia tasks which includes managing memory transfers and organization into DSP memory for efficient processing
- An optional Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) is offered 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.
Bill Teasley, VP Engineering at Sensory commented: "Always-on signal processing applications such as voice activation and speaker verification require the lowest possible power consumption, and the CEVA-TeakLite-4 DSP has proven to offer a very compelling low power profile for our voice activation solution. Enabling direct access to the CEVA DSPs in Android system architectures through AMF promises such power-sensitive applications will reside on the DSP, resulting in more power efficient devices, and envisions seamless enhancement with new voice recognition components."
Gideon Shmuel, CEO, eyeSight commented: "With the introduction of the new AMF, the Android ecosystem will be able to develop a new generation of low power gesture and computer vision applications that can leverage on the processing capabilities that the CEVA-MM3101 platform offers. AMF will enable Android developers to overcome these issues by seamlessly offloading imaging and vision related tasks directly to the CEVA-MM3101, dramatically improving the performance and battery life for these exciting applications."
Vlatko Milosevski, Business Development Manager at NXP Software said: "The new AMF will greatly enhance the capabilities that CEVA DSPs can bring to Android-based systems. Efficiently addressing the low-latency HD voice quality of LTE smartphones requires more real-time DSP capabilities than ever before. With CEVA's new AMF offering, Android system developers can harness the full power of our LifeVibes VoiceExperience software running on the CEVA DSPs directly, without having to tackle signal processing tasks on the CPU."
AMF is available for the CEVA-TeakLite-4 audio/voice DSP, the CEVA-MM3101 imaging and vision platformand the CEVA-X general purpose DSP.
About CEVA, Inc.
CEVA is the world's leading licensor of silicon intellectual property (SIP) DSP cores and platform solutions for the mobile, portable and consumer electronics markets. CEVA's IP portfolio includes comprehensive technologies for cellular baseband (2G / 3G / 4G), multimedia (vision, imaging and HD audio), voice processing, Bluetooth, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA). In 2012, CEVA's IP was shipped in more than 1 billion devices, powering smartphones from many of the world's leading OEMs, including HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, TCL and ZTE. Today, more than 40% of handsets shipped worldwide are powered by a CEVA DSP core. For more information, visit www.ceva-dsp.com.