Improv Delivers Industry's First Low-Power, Multiple-Standard Media Processing Core

7/9/2002 - Improv Systems™, a pioneer in application-optimized DSPs, today announced the release of the Crescendo™ Solution Kits, a technology solution that enables the development of a low-power, multi-standard processor core for broadcast and streaming media. Crescendo is the industry's first programmable core that can support multiple standards at low clock rates, making it ideally suited for the diverse, demanding and evolving needs of the fast-growing media processing market.

The optimized architecture of the Crescendo Solution Kits eliminates the need for multiple, single-purpose chips found in many of today's new portable and home consumer devices such as 3G phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), DVDs and TV on PCs. Tuned to the specific needs of the broadcast and mobile media domains, the Crescendo Solution Kits combine and integrate Improv's configurable DSP technology and methodology; a suite of application software; SOC integration and extension capabilities, including ARM/MIPS interfaces; a full SOC verification environment and tool suite; and a reference platform.

"Getting to market fast with the right solution is always the priority in any consumer-driven market and increasingly, the right solution means the one that can adopt to rapidly changing customer needs and industry standards," said Cary Ussery, president and CEO of Improv Systems. "Now, with Crescendo, companies can create optimized, programmable chips that will allow them to provide meaningful product differentiation today and flexibility for the future."

"The DSP market is growing rapidly for 'application-optimized' processors that are tuned for specific classes of applications," said Will Strauss, President of Forward Concepts, a leading DSP market research and consulting firm. "Improv has done its homework in entering the media processing market with Crescendo. The combination of the company's configurable technology along with application-specific expertise makes the architecture an attractive solution for anyone building media-rich devices."

Crescendo Broadcast Media
The Crescendo Broadcast Media Solution Kit is an optimized core for broadcast-quality video and audio processing. It is the first low-power solution to support the MPEG4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) suitable for broadcast quality video and provides the flexibility to support the emerging ITU H.26L standard that many industry experts feel will be the future standard for broadcast video. Support is also included for the popular audio standards: Dolby Digital, Dolby Prologic, and MPEG level 1,2,3 for both encode and decode.

A typical application would use two instances of the Jazz DSPTM Processor in a system. Organized in a pipeline, the processors can encode or decode D1 (NTSC/PAL) resolution frames (30fps). Extensive use of parallelism and application-specific instructions (DDCUs) allow the complex real-time processing to be performed at moderate clock speeds (150-200 Mhz) and low power. The solution kit also includes solutions to scale up to HDTV size frames. A key benefit of the solution is the ability to support multiple broadcast standards with a single core and maintain programmability to evolve the solution as standards change.

Crescendo Mobile Media
The Crescendo Mobile Media Solution kit is an optimized core for streaming media processing in 3G phones, PDAs and other hand-held devices. It supports video and audio standards such as MPEG4 Simple Profile, Windows Video, RealVideo, MP3, AAC and Beatnik (XMF and audio processing). The core can support decode-only or function as a full codec (decode and encode). The key benefit of this solution is that a single programmable processor can support the multitude of media requirements on handheld devices, while other approaches require dedicated, hardwired logic for single-functions like MPEG4. The use of application-specific instructions (DDCUs) and parallel execution (VLIW), enable high performance with very low power consumption and at very low clock speeds, which is essential for hand-held applications. MPEG4 decode of CIF frames (20fps) requires less than 30Mhz for decode and 100 Mhz for encode. Other comparable solutions require processor speeds of over 200MHz.

Expanding Focus to Media and MPEG4
In expanding its focus to other market segments, Improv is taking the same approach it has successfully used with its Acappella™ Solution Kit for Voice over IP (VoIP). Crescendo includes a core set of hardware, software and integration elements that are specifically aimed at helping designers in the media processing market get to market faster. Improv's flexible and configurable platform-based design methodology is especially appropriate for markets with multiple, emerging and quickly-changing standards. Improv's programmable and scalable solution covers multiple standards and allows room for differentiation while its application-optimized processors provide efficiency comparable to hard-wired, single function chips.

About Improv Systems, Inc.
Improv Systems, Inc. develops and licenses the Jazz PSA™ platforms featuring the Jazz DSP and application solution kits for Voice-over-IP, Networking and Emerging Media. Improv's Jazz DSP is a configurable DSP that allows designers to create optimized DSP cores targeted to consumer electronics and telecommunications markets. Through the company's Ensemble™ Partners program, formed to help accelerate the use and integration of designer-defined DSPs in System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions, Improv customers have access to complementary products and services from companies such as ARM (Nasdaq: ARMHY), MIPS Technologies (Nasdaq: MIPS, MIPSB), Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS), Tality Corporation (NYSE: CDN); and Wind River Systems (Nasdaq: WIND) among others. Improv Systems has development centers in Beverly, MA, San Jose, CA, and Rochester, NY, and direct sales offices in the United Kingdom and Japan. Improv can be reached at (978) 927-0555, or at

Improv, Ensemble, designer-defined DSPs, Jazz DSP, Jazz PSA, Acappella and Crescendo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Improv Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Product and company names mentioned herein are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: