ADI's Blackfin Processor Powers Sonarics Lab' ClearSignal Digital Radio

3/23/2004 - Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), announced that Sonarics Labs has harnessed the low cost and advanced capabilities of ADI's Blackfin® Processor for its new ClearSignalTM product, a complete digital radio receiver solution. By implementing digital radio functionality in software on ADI's Blackfin Processor, Sonarics was able to design a Eureka-147 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) digital radio that integrates a range of additional functionality - MP3 and WMA playback and recording on memory cards and CDs, sophisticated sound processing, as well as digital reception of legacy FM/AM broadcasts - all into a one platform. With the ClearSignal product priced for the mass market - at about $5 per processor in quantity - Sonarics can now bring a robust digital audio solution to radio manufacturers at prices that will be attractive to a broad consumer audience.

The Blackfin-based Sonarics platform offers an important advantage over first-generation digital radios, which were built using a combination of custom ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) and a separate microcontroller chip. Because Blackfin-based products can be modified through software iteration, without requiring hardware redesign, Sonarics benefits from continuous cost reduction, fast time-to-market and the ability to reuse intellectual property (IP) as they build out the capabilities of their product family. The general-purpose and fully-programmable Blackfin Processor is integral to Sonarics' ability to evolve digital radio over time, transitioning it from a standalone audio receiver to a richly-featured, wireless multimedia player with data and video support for new streaming formats and integration with 3G cellular handsets.

"The main challenges of the digital radio market are the price tag of digital receivers and the ability to deliver advanced digital services to consumers," said Ben Gagin, Sonarics' President and CEO. "The Blackfin Processor's affordability and streamlined development environment helped to address these challenges. In addition, its ability to redistribute horsepower between all the system's functions under different run-time circumstances - as directed by ClearSignal - enabled Sonarics to take a big step toward increasing the coverage of its digital radio offerings."

"Sonarics' use of the Blackfin Processor validates all that makes this processor a compelling choice for electronics manufacturers," said Gerald McGuire, general manager, Media Platforms and Services Group, Analog Devices, Inc. "Fulfilling the role of both digital signal processor and RISC microcontroller, the Blackfin Processor allows designers of media-rich applications such as digital radio - in which cost, power efficiency, time-to-market and scalability of new functionality are essential to mainstream success - to achieve their goals with unprecedented ease."

Sonarics and ADI's Blackfin Processor
Sonarics used the Blackfin Processor to handle both signal processing and microcontroller functionality in its ClearSignal product. The ClearSignal product is a "soft radio" receiver running digital radio reception and digital audio playback on the Blackfin Processor. The ClearSignal design also incorporates additional ADI technologies, including several analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) for intermediate frequency sampling.

About ADI's Blackfin Processor
The Blackfin Processor is the first in a new breed of embedded processors designed specifically to meet the computational demands and power constraints of today's embedded audio, video and communications applications. Based on the Micro Signal Architecture (MSA) jointly developed with Intel Corporation, ADI's Blackfin Processor family combines a 32-bit RISC-like instruction set with 16-bit dual multiply accumulate (MAC) signal processing functionality and ease-of-use attributes found in general-purpose microcontrollers. Dynamic Power Management enables breakthrough power consumption by allowing the simultaneous adjustment of operating frequency and voltage under application control.

Because they are code-compatible, all Blackfin Processors provide portability of design. In addition, Blackfin Processors are fully supported by ADI's integrated software development tool chain, the VisualDSP++® Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and by Green Hills' MULTI® IDE tool suite. Blackfin Processors are priced in the $5-$40 per-unit range in 10,000 unit quantities. For more information on Blackfin, please visit:

About Analog Devices
Analog Devices, Inc. ( is a leading manufacturer of precision high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications. ADI is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, and employs approximately 8,600 people worldwide. It has manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, Ireland, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. Analog Devices' common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and ADI is included in the S&P 500 Index.

A ClearSignal based system is on display at CeBIT, on Sonarics' partner Chih-Kan Technology Booth E15-02 Hall-19.

Blackfin is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc. ClearSignal is a trademark of Sonarics Labs Ltd.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

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