Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine Passes Microsoft WMA Compliance Testing

4/14/2004 - Tensilica, Inc., announced that its Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine’s Windows Media Audio (WMA) decoder passed compliance testing by Microsoft Corp. This compliance testing is important because it assures system-on-chip (SOC) designers that they can design products with the Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine that will play all files encoded in the WMA format.

WMA provides consumers high quality music in half the file size of the MP3 format, and makes it easy for device manufacturers and chip manufacturers to license WMA thanks to its attractive licensing terms. As a result, WMA is now supported more than 500 consumer electronic devices including DVD players, set-top boxes, car stereos and portable music players.

“We are pleased that Tensilica is offering high-quality WMA to its customers,” said Jason Reindorp, group manager in the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “With the growing popularity of consumer electronic devices supporting WMA, Tensilica’s Xtensa technology is poised to be an even more popular solution for embedded system developers.”

In addition to supporting WMA, the Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine also supports Dolby Digital AC-3 decode and consumer encode, MP3 decode and encode, MPEG-2/4 AAC decode and encode, and the G723-1 and G729AB speech codecs. Because the engine is programmable, multiple audio formats can run on the same hardware, allowing the same silicon to be used for multiple applications. In addition, designers can further customize the underlying Xtensa processor so it can be used for other functions on the chip.

The 24-bit Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine has inherent advantages over the industry standard 16-bit audio processors in use today. It provides superior sound quality of compressed files due to the increased precision available for intermediate calculations in the compression and decompression algorithms.

“Successfully completing the WMA compliance testing is another important milestone for our popular Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine,” stated Bernie Rosenthal, Tensilica’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “Audio is becoming so important in today’s consumer devices that many designers want a fast, safe design solution. The Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine is ready now and can help SOC designers quickly add audio to their next design project.”

All of the algorithm solutions for the Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine were designed and developed by CuTe Solutions, Hyderabad, India. CuTe Solutions has a dedicated ASIC design team that designs and develops DSP/Xtensa processor-based SoC platforms catering to audio and voice applications. For more information, visit www.cutesolinc.com.

About Tensilica
Tensilica was founded in July 1997 to address the growing need for optimized, application-specific microprocessor solutions in high-volume embedded applications. With a configurable and extensible microprocessor core called Xtensa, Tensilica is the only company that has automated and patented the time-consuming process of generating a customized microprocessor core along with a complete software development tool environment, producing new configurations in a matter of hours. For more information, visit www.tensilica.com.

“Tensilica” and “Xtensa” are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica Inc.

Tensilica’s announced licensees include Agilent, AMCC (JNI Corporation), Astute Networks, Avision, Bay Microsystems, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Conexant Systems, Crimson Microsystems, Cypress, ETRI, FUJIFILM Microdevices, Fujitsu Ltd., Hudson Soft, Hughes Network Systems, Ikanos Communications, LG Electronics, Marvell, NEC Laboratories America, NEC Corporation, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., S2io, Solid State Systems (3S), Sony, STMicroelectronics, TranSwitch Corporation, and Victor Company of Japan (JVC).

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