SOURCE: Tensilica


June 22, 2009 08:00 ET

Tensilica Announces New High-Performance ConnX Communications DSP Family for LTE and 4G SOC Designs

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - June 22, 2009) - Tensilica,® Inc. today introduced a new family of high-performance communications DSP (digital signal processors) IP (intellectual property) cores -- the ConnX DSP family -- that include standard cores, click-box configurable options or a starting point for customized Xtensa® LX DPUs (dataplane processor units) for SOC (system-on-chip) designs. The newest member of the family, the ConnX Baseband Engine -- see separate press release -- provides industry leading computational throughput (sixteen 18-bit MACs per cycle) due to its application-specific instruction set optimized for compute-intensive LTE (Long-term Evolution) and 4G wireless base stations. Tensilica plans other ConnX family members for the low-power requirements of the handset market.

"With its configurable instruction set, Tensilica has morphed its basic Xtensa RISC architecture to become a compelling DSP engine," stated Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. "The company's first giant leap into the DSP world was through the design of their HiFi 2 Audio Engine into cellular phones, Blu-ray Disc players, and other home entertainment products, where they've had considerable success. Now, with the ConnX DSP Baseband Engine, Tensilica is taking aim at the fastest growing part of the market -- next generation wireless. They already have major customers -- including Fujitsu, Panasonic and NEC -- doing their own designs in this market. I expect they will do quite well with this high-performance DSP engine."

"Our customers are increasingly customizing Xtensa DPUs for both small, power efficient DSP functions and large, complex DSP functions," stated Jack Guedj, Tensilica's president and CEO. "The majority of our over 350 million DPU cores shipped have performed complex DSP functions, such as audio, video, security, and image signal processing. Now, with this family of pre-designed communications DSP cores, our customers will be able to achieve faster time-to-market on their new next-generation of communications SOCs."

Tensilica realizes that there are two very different types of requirements for DSPs in wireless systems. The ConnX Baseband Engine fills the more traditional software-centric DSP requirements for base stations, and for multi-mode, multi-standard terminal devices. Tensilica's Xtensa technology can also be optimized to build more narrowly tailored, optimized functional blocks that fit into a hardware-centric design style typically found in wireless handset implementations, and Tensilica plans several products in this area.

The ConnX family of communications DSP engines includes other functions that are in high demand for next-generation compute-intensive tasks. The ConnX Baseband Engine joins the proven quad-MAC Vectra LX DSP option, which is now re-branded as the ConnX Vectra Engine. The ConnX Vectra Engine has been used in many customer designs and is an integral part of the re-branded ConnX 545CK standard DSP. The ConnX 545CK was previously known as the Diamond 545CK, which received a BDTIsimMark2000™ score of 3820. The BDTIsimMark is a summary measure of overall DSP processing speed based on BDTI's DSP Kernel Benchmarks™*, and the 545CK received the highest BDTIsimMark2000 score of all licensable cores evaluated by BDTI. The ConnX family of DSP engines includes other functions that are in high demand for next-generation compute-intensive tasks. Tensilica expects that it can quickly leverage its customizable processor technology to develop key functions that will significantly expand its business in several market areas.

About Tensilica

Tensilica, Inc. -- the leader in customizable dataplane processors -- is a semiconductor IP licensor recognized by the Gartner Group as the fastest growing semiconductor IP supplier in 2008. Dataplane Processor Units (DPUs) combine the best capabilities of CPUs and DSPs while delivering 10-to-100-times the performance because they can be customized using Tensilica's automated design tools to meet specific dataplane performance targets. Tensilica's DPUs power SOC designs at system OEMs and five out of the top 10 semiconductor companies for products including mobile phones, consumer electronics devices (including digital TV, Blu-ray Disc players, broadband set top boxes and portable media players), computers, and storage, networking and communications equipment. For more information on Tensilica's patented, benchmark-proven DPUs visit

Editors' Notes:

--  BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmark conditions: All processors are benchmarked
    with 16-bit fixed-point data. All scores use worst-case clock speeds for
    the TSMC CL013G process and ARM Artisan SAGE-X library. Vendors can choose
    different speed/area/power tradeoffs; to understand the trade-offs, please
    view all BDTI metrics for each core. BDTIsimMark2000™ scores may be
    based on projected clock speeds. For more information, see
--  Tensilica and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica
    Inc. All other company and product names mentioned are trademarks and/or
    registered trademarks of their respective owners.
--  Tensilica's announced licensees include: ADDMM, Afa Technologies,
    ALPS, Aquantia, Astute Networks, Atheros, AMD (ATI), Avision, Bay
    Microsystems, Brocade, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, CMC Microsystems, Conexant
    Systems, Design Art Networks, DS2, EE Solutions, Epson, ETRI, FUJIFILM
    Microdevices, Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd., Hudson Soft,
    iBiquity Digital, Ikanos Communications, IDT, Intel, Juniper Networks, LG
    Electronics, Lucid Information Technology, Marvell, NEC Laboratories
    America, NEC Corporation, Neterion, Nethra Imaging, Nippon Telephone and
    Telegraph (NTT), NuFront, NVIDIA, Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., Panasonic
    Mobile, Penstar, Plato Networks, PnpNetwork Technologies, PowerLayer
    Microsystems, Samsung, SiBEAM, Sony, STMicroelectronics, Stretch,
    TranSwitch Corporation, Triductor Technology, UpZide, Valens Semiconductor,
    Validity Sensors, Victor Company of Japan (JVC), WiLinx, and XM Radio.

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