ARC Optimizes Digital Audio Platform for System Area and Power

12/2/2003 - ARC International (LSE: ARK), a world leader in user-customizable processors, peripheral IP, real-time operating system and development tools for embedded system design, announced the ARCTM 600 Digital Audio Platform – one of the smallest digital audio subsystems available in the market today. The initial set of digital audio codecs available on the ARC 600 includes: MP-3 encode, MP-3 decode, MPEG-4 AAC encode (with Temporal Noise Shaping), AAC decode (with Temporal Noise Shaping), and WMA decode.

The increasing popularity of digital audio has driven a dramatic increase in the number and the types of devices that require this application. While most other audio IP solutions focus on speed, this is not an optimal solution for devices where silicon cost and power are critical. The ARC 600 Digital Audio Platform leverages the ARC processor’s small size, 16/32-bit ISA, and power efficiency while achieving high performance.

The audio codecs in the Digital Audio Platform have been optimized to make the most of the ARC 600’s 32-bit RISC/DSP configurable, extendable architecture. The ARC 600 data path and 56-bit accumulator efficiently provide the necessary internal precision for high fidelity audio. The base configuration of the ARC 600, with optional MAC and customized instructions, yields a gate count of less than 50,000 gates. The ARC 600 also employs the ARCompact ISA, which offers 30-40% better code density than other 32-bit ISAs.

With advanced power management features, the ARC 600 Digital Audio Platform is extremely well suited for portable devices. While being a lean design, the system is capable of simultaneously running 2 channels of AAC encode and 1 channel of decode.

All audio codecs are fully compliant with Microsoft and ITU standards and are delivered as optimized C and assembly language source code. Each codec implements the same API, making it easy to integrate into a customer’s application. These software modules were developed and optimized for the ARC 600 architecture by Ittiam, a leader in DSP technology.

“The ARC 600 Digital Audio Platform represents a combination of leading edge processor technology from ARC and audio domain expertise from Ittiam. The resulting solution is well tailored to meet the needs of the exploding market,” said Mr. Srini Rajam, Chairman and CEO, Ittiam Systems (P) Limited.

“The ARC 600 Digital Audio Platform offers our customers an optimised, pre-verified audio subsystem for area-sensitive, power-critical designs,” said Mike Gulett, president and CEO, ARC International. “As the audio market continues to take off, system designers are being forced to differentiate themselves in many ways. Aside from supporting standards-based audio codecs, new systems will likely offer sophisticated audio effects and peripheral options. By providing a targeted, shrink-wrapped audio solution, ARC enables system designers to focus on their value-add activities and accelerate their time to revenue.”

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for an audio encoder and decoder from the ARC 600 Digital Audio Platform are $30,000 and $50,000, respectively. This fee does not include a separate license required for the ARC 600 processor. Bundle pricing is also available. All codecs will be available by end of year.

About ARC
ARC International is a world leader in embedded silicon and software SoC IP. ARC’s solutions minimize risk for customers developing a wide range next-generation wireless, networking, industrial control, storage and consumer electronics products. ARC introduced the industry’s first user-customizable 32-bit RISC/DSP processor core and the industry's first USB Hi-Speed On-The-Go IP. ARC’s turnkey embedded solutions, combining the processor core with a real-time operating system, development tools and peripheral hardware and software IP, enable developers to optimise the design and performance of their applications. By providing designers with a single source for all major embedded silicon and software IP building blocks, ARC dramatically reduces their number of suppliers, thereby reducing cost, reducing risk and reducing time-to-market.

ARC International employs approximately 180 people in research and development, sales and marketing offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Full details of the company’s locations and other information are available on the company’s website, ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE: ARK).

About Ittiam Systems
Ittiam Systems Private Limited, headquartered in Bangalore, is a technology product company singularly focussed on digital signal processing systems in media and communication. The company operates through its network of offices and representatives around the world. Ittiam’s customers include Fortune 100 companies and are distributed across the United States, Europe, Japan and Asia. For more details, visit

ARC, the ARC logo, ARCtangent, ARCangel, ARCompact, ARChitect, ARCform, CASSEIA, High C, High C/C++, SeeCode, MetaDeveloper, MetaWare, Precise Solution, Precise/BlazeNet, Precise/EDS, Precise/MFS, Precise/MQX, Precise/MQXsim, Precise/RTCS, Precise/RTCSsim are trademarks of ARC International.

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