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DSP IP on silicon takes a space of only 0.039 mm2 in 28nm node fab

Date: 07/01/2013
The audio and speech signal processing DSP IP core from Tensilica takes a takes a space of only 0.039 mm2 in 28nm node fab. The DSP IP core supports always listening voice trigger and speech command modes. This IP is designed for SoC semiconductor chips used in low power mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and also appliances, and automotive applications where a hands-free experience is required. Sensory and other software partners of Tensilica are expected to provide the software support for voice-activation, speech command recognition, voice pre-processing and noise reduction products optimized on the HiFi Mini DSP. 28nm SoC VLSI designers are now given an option to save time from designing own DSP logic for speech processing.

“Voice activation and speech command are essential ingredients in making devices much more user friendly, and we see that the market for devices utilizing this technology will explode in the years ahead,” stated Michael Morgan, mobile devices senior analyst with ABI Research. “A number of companies are working on the software side, but it’s also very important to have a very low power DSP to run that software so battery life is not meaningfully impacted. Tensilica’s HiFi Mini will help drive this market.”

The core uses 40-bit encoding and 16-bit instructions optimized for voice and audio codecs resulting in a post-route core that’s takes silicon space of 0.039 mm2 in 28 nm HPL.

“Power is the single most important factor in enabling always-on listening capability in mobile devices. Using Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree voice control technology, HiFi Mini is able to achieve less than 88 uW of power for the core in 28 nm HPL, achieving both the lowest power consumption and uncompromising accuracy for speech recognition,” stated Larry Przywara, Tensilica’s senior director of mobile multimedia. “The combination of ultra-low power and small area makes HiFi Mini an attractive addition to mobile as well as other consumer electronics. And as voice control emerges as the natural interface, we expect it will become more ubiquitous as it migrates to automotive, consumer appliances and potentially industrial control.”

Availability: March 2013.

For more info visit www.tensilica.com.