Design

DSP architecture targets home entertainment applications

26th July 2017
Alice Matthews


Targeted for the latest mobile and home entertainment applications, including smartphones, augmented reality (AR)/3D goggles, digital TVs and set-top boxes (STBs), Cadence Design Systems has announced the Cadence Tensilica HiFi 3z DSP IP core for system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The new HiFi 3z architecture offers more than 1.3 times better voice and audio processing performance than its predecessor, the HiFi 3 DSP.

Higher voice sample rates require more complex voice pre-processing. Enhanced Voice Services (EVS), the latest mobile voice codec supporting voice over LTE (VoLTE), supports up to a 48kHz sample rate, compared to 16kHz for the previous AMR-WB codec. The new HiFi 3z DSP delivers more than 1.3 times better performance for EVS than the HiFi 3 DSP core. Home entertainment is driving a similar workload increase as audio codecs like Dolby AC-4 and MPEG-H transition from channel-based to object-based. In addition, audio post-processing functions such as Waves Nx 3D/AR audio and the immersive audio of Dolby Atmos-enabled TVs are driving higher complexity signal processing. The HiFi 3z DSP provides more than 1.4 times better performance on Dolby Atmos-enabled TVs than the HiFi 3 DSP.

“The combination of Waves’ constantly evolving technological portfolio and Cadence’s new generation of efficient HiFi 3z DSP cores allows us to continue on our mission to deliver cutting-edge audio capabilities to consumers everywhere and at all times,” said Tomer Elbaz, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Electronics Division of Waves Audio. “Waves algorithms running on the HiFi 3z DSP are 20% more efficient. When combined with the versatility of our audio-processing portfolio, this offers a compelling package for manufacturers looking to provide a great audio experience to their customers.”

The HiFi 3z DSP offers a number of architecture and instruction set architecture (ISA) improvements over the earlier HiFi 3 DSP, including:

  • Dual load/store
  • Advanced FLIX bundling (multiple-base ISA operations per cycle)
  • Double the MACs for 16x16 (octal MAC)
  • Enhanced ISA for accelerating FFTs, FIRs and IIRs
  • New instruction extensions to improve codec (especially EVS) performance for mobile
  • 4-way, 8-bit load for improved voice trigger performance
  • 8-way, 8-bit load for reduced neural network memory usage.

“In pursuit of better consumer experiences, new audio and voice codecs and pre- and post-processing functions have emerged that significantly increase the signal processing and control code workloads,” stated Larry Przywara, Group Director of Marketing, audio/voice IP at Cadence. “We’ve designed the HiFi 3z DSP to efficiently support these new audio and voice compute requirements. The HiFi 3z DSP has already been licensed to a leading customer that has taped out their mobile SoC with anticipated production in 2018.”

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