ParthusCeva Targets Wireless Application-Processing with XpertTeak

4/30/2003 - ParthusCeva, Inc., [(Nasdaq: PCVA); (LSE: PCV)], the industry's leading provider of licensable Digital Signal Processor (DSP) cores and platform-level IP to the semiconductor industry, unveiled XpertTeak based digital audio extensions and development environment targeting audio processing for portable and mobile devices. The solution, based on ParthusCeva's XpertTeak programmable DSP system-on-chip (SoC) platform, delivers a comprehensive suite of audio applications, middleware software such as audio codecs and voice codecs, middleware software framework and various applications including ringtone synthesizers, 3D audio effects and quality enhancement.

According to the research firm Forward Concepts, total audio chip revenue reached $2.5 billion in 2002 and is forecasted to grow at a 22% compound annual rate to $6.8 billion by 2007. The consumer segment, where the XpertTeak audio product is targeted, is growing fastest and is forecast to constitute almost 92% of the audio chip market by 2007.

"Digital audio is a market of enormous opportunity and with our leadership position in DSP and platform-level IP, we are perfectly poised to exploit this," said Brian Long, CEO of ParthusCeva. "This is the first product from the combined company that combines Ceva's DSP architecture and Parthus' application-level technology in a single solution. XpertTeak extends the capability of our audio technology with a comprehensive development environment enabling our licensees and partners to develop applications that target high-growth multimedia markets."

The solution is powered by ParthusCeva's XpertTeak DSP SoC platform and includes Audio Codecs (e.g. MP3, AAC, WMA), Voice Codecs (e.g. G.726, G.723.1, G.729A/B, G.729E), and WaveTable synthesis (e.g. SP-MIDI, GM-1, SMAF). ParthusCeva is partnered amongst others with Qsound Labs, offering its audio processing engine, and ESPICO, offering audio/voice codecs. In addition, the solution includes a software framework that can seamlessly integrate a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) and any other proprietary software module. A complete suite of software development tools and associated development boards are supplied to reduce SoC development time, and ARM's RealView Debugger is available to support multi-core product designs.

XpertTeak is a complete licensable design for a low power, low cost programmable DSP-based SoC for embedded application markets. As a licensable design, fully synthesizable and process independent, it can be further incorporated into highly integrated SoC designs. XpertTeak is built on the programmable dual MAC Teak DSP Core, the fourth generation of SmartCoresTM family. XpertTeak also includes on-chip data and program memories, a high performance Direct Memory Access (DMA) controller, AMBA bridge, Buffered Time Division Multiplexing Port (BTDMP) and high throughput Host Port Interface, Serial IO (SIO) interface, General Purpose I/O (GPIO) interface, Timers, Interrupt Controller (ICU) and full support for run time debugger.

Software Framework
The solution includes a pre-defined software framework providing a run time environment for ParthusCeva, third party and customer DSP algorithms and applications. The framework is optimized for a multi-tasking, multi-frame rate application processing environment and provides an underlying real time operating system, task scheduling policy and resource management policy, selectable driver set, inter-processor communications services and APIs and media algorithm design rules and APIs. The framework greatly eases the system integration task and maximizes code re-use.

Development Environment
The development environment includes a comprehensive set of system boards and software development tool set. The system boards contain a production ready XpertTeak chip with glue-less interface to a broad range of audio codecs. The software tool kit is comprised of application software, RTOS, development environment and tools suite. The software tool set includes advanced C/C++ compiler, macro assembler, linker and built-in DSP software libraries. The powerful multi-core debugger is supported by ARM's RealView Debugger (RVD).

Audio and Voice Codecs
Application software includes optimized audio and voice compression for the major standards including MP3, WMA, AAC, AMR, G.723.1, G.729ab, G.729e, G.726. These algorithms are provided by ParthusCeva and its partners.

MicroQ in conjunction with Qsound Labs
MicroQ is a compact and highly efficient software digital audio engine providing functions such as polyphonic ringtones, game sound, digital effects, music playback quality enhancement and recording for portable applications, including cellular phones, hand-held and mobile devices, and internet appliances. MicroQ is inherently modular, scalable and portable. The core components consist of a digital audio playback engine, a wavetable synthesis engine with a scalable sample set, and a multi-channel stereo mixer. To this core may be added a wide range of processes to enhance MP3 music playback, control frequency response, dynamics, and spatial enhancements as well as full 3D positional audio.

Codecs in conjunction with ESPICO
ESPICO offers a wide suite of audio and speech codecs for XpertTeak. All algorithms are highly optimised implementations of the standards specifically targeted to the XpertTeak architecture. They are C-callable with multiple build options available to optimise for speed or memory usage.

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