Update: Cadence Completes Acquisition of Tensilica (Apr 24, 2013)
Tensilica’s Xtensa Processor Tops BDTI Benchmarks by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc. (BDTI)
SANTA CLARA, Calif., September 22, 2004 – Xtensa LX, the highest-performance licensable processor core for DSP applications, will be highlighted in Tensilica’s booth, number 600, at the 2004 GSPx Conference, an international embedded solutions event at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif., Sept. 27-30, 2004. At the conference, Tensilica executives also will participate in a panel discussion on the future of DSPs and will present a paper on how the Xtensa processor outperforms other DSP cores.
Top BDTIsimMark2000 Score
Tensilica’s Xtensa LX configurable processor core achieved the highest score recorded to date for a licensable processor core on the BDTI Benchmarks by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc. (BDTI). The Xtensa LX BDTIsimMark2000 score of 6150 at 370 MHz is 70% faster than the score for the next-fastest licensable core benchmarked by BDTI, the CEVA-X1620.*
Tensilica achieved this outstanding performance by creating a unique, optimized processor configuration. Tensilica’s engineers used the Xtensa Processor Generator, selecting the check-box options that fit the benchmark. Then Tensilica’s engineers added 12 custom instructions to further accelerate performance hot spots in the algorithms.
The configuration developed for the BDTI Benchmarks is approximately 250K gates, occupies 4.4 mm2, and is projected to achieve a robust 370 MHz clock rate under worst case operating conditions in a commercially available 130 nm process from a leading wafer foundry. Tensilica reports that this high-performance DSP core minimizes power requirements, dissipating a mere 0.53 mW/MHz in dynamic (switching) power under typical operating conditions, producing a total power dissipation (dynamic plus leakage power) of only 200 mW at a 370 MHz operating speed.**
Vectra LX DSP Engine
The configuration used in the BDTI Benchmarks includes Tensilica’s new Vectra LX engine, which provides a fast path for designers that delivers ultra-high-performance DSP capabilities. The Vectra LX DSP engine offers a rich, general-purpose DSP instruction set of more than 200 instructions tailored for classic signal processing algorithms such as filters and FFTs. It utilizes Xtensa LX’s dual-load/store units to provide full DSP capability in a small size with low power. The Vectra LX option can be used as-is by simply selecting it as a check-box configuration option for an Xtensa LX processor.
Tensilica executives will be participating in the technical conference in two major events. Bernie Rosenthal, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will participate in a panel discussion, “Are Stand-Alone DSPs Passe’?” on Tuesday, September 28, at 10:30 a.m. Steve Leibson, Technology Evangelist, and Himanshu Sanghavi, Hardware Engineering Manager, will present, “Flexible Length Instruction Extensions Allow Second-Generation Configurable DSP Core to Outperform Conventional DSPs,” on Thursday, September 30, at 9:00 a.m.
Tensilica was founded in July 1997 to address the growing need for optimized, application-specific microprocessor solutions in high-volume embedded applications. With the Xtensa and Xtensa LX configurable and extensible microprocessor cores, Tensilica is the only company that has automated and patented the time-consuming process of generating a customized microprocessor core along with a complete software development tool environment, producing new configurations in a matter of hours. These customized processors rival hand-coded RTL in performance and add a needed level of programmability. For more information, visit www.tensilica.com.
* The BDTIsimMark2000 provides a summary measure of DSP speed. For more information and scores see www.BDTI.com. Scores 2004 BDTI.
** The Xtensa LX configuration tested consumes a static leakage power of 5.5 mW plus dynamic switching power of 0.53 mW/MHz on a representative computational benchmark kernel under typical operating conditions (130 nm high-performance process – nominal process case, operating voltage 1.2V).
The Xtensa LX score assumes use of the Vectra LX DSP engine and 12 custom TIE instructions that expand the area of the core by 16%. Licensees may require greater or lesser degrees of customization. The scores for all other cores assume that no coprocessors or other customizations were used. The scores for the Xtensa LX and all other cores are for worst case operating conditions in a commercially available 130 nm process. Contact info@BDTI.com for more information.
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Tensilica’s announced licensees include Agilent, ALPS, AMCC (JNI Corporation), Astute Networks, Avision, Bay Microsystems, Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Conexant Systems, Cypress, Crimson Microsystems, ETRI, FUJIFILM Microdevices, Fujitsu Ltd., Hudson Soft, Hughes Network Systems, Ikanos Communications, LG Electronics, Marvell, NEC Laboratories America, NEC Corporation, NetEffect, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., S2io, Solid State Systems, Sony, STMicroelectronics, TranSwitch Corporation, and Victor Company of Japan (JVC).