Bristol England, 16 June, 2003: Elixent, the leader in reconfigurable semiconductor IP, has been awarded a further four patents pertaining to its reconfigurable algorithm processing architecture, D-Fabrix. The US patents enable the company to protect its intellectual property while developing further solutions for the reconfigurable market. Customers can take advantage of Elixent's dynamically reconfigurable D-Fabrix array, lessening power consumption, minimising silicon area and avoiding costly respins.
"We're very happy to complete the patent application and approval process in the US," commented Alan Marshall, CTO at Elixent. "Now we can continue our ongoing research and development, expanding further on the ideas put forward in these patents for reconfigurability."
The newly issued patents cover; the integration of multipliers in programmable arrays; reconfigurable processor devices; field programmable processor arrays; and the method and apparatus for providing instruction streams to processor devices. The techniques described in these patents have allowed Elixent to bring the D-Fabrix array to market, making a whole new class of truly multi-functional platform devices available to customers.
Elixent's D-Fabrix RAP platform provides the lowest power reprogrammable solution for implementing algorithm processing in SOC devices. It does this using post-fabrication reconfigurable arrays, giving cost-effective silicon utilisation and reuse. D-Fabrix allows the creation of a "virtual hardware" accelerator for every algorithm in a system. By virtue of reconfigurability, it can implement multiple hardware accelerators in minimal silicon area, giving high utilisation. Additionally, this reconfigurability allows functionality to be added or changed post-fabrication, enabling bugs to be fixed, new functions to be added, or even the whole chip to be customised.
D-Fabrix maps algorithms to a fine-grained processing array made up of ALUs, registers and memories, giving it a unique ability to adapt to any algorithm or datapath width. This provides a solution with the flexibility of a processor, while its low power and high performance attributes are closer to that of a fixed-function hardwired ASIC.
While power consumption is obviously a major advantage for developers of next-generation mobile devices, it is also a benefit to those developing fixed applications – eliminating the need for fans, or cost-reducing the power supplies. In addition, through dynamic reconfiguration, Elixent's D-Fabrix array allows for a high degree of silicon reuse, leading to low device cost. In benchmarks against standard DSP processors, D-Fabrix provides a 10x improvement in power consumption while still providing significantly more performance in similar silicon area. D-Fabrix enables a new class of platform device that can be truly multi-functional - supporting multiple applications, and adapting efficiently to changing specifications.
Elixent is the leader in reconfigurable semiconductor IP. D-Fabrix, the company's patented reconfigurable algorithm processing (RAP) technology provides solutions for companies producing electronic products for imaging and communications applications in consumer and industrial markets. Visit http://www.elixent.com for more information.