Tensilica Achieves Top BDTIsimMark2000 Score with Xtensa LX Processor

5/19/2004 - Tensilica, Inc. announced that it’s new Xtensa LX configurable processor core has achieved the highest score recorded to date for a licensable processor core on the BDTI Benchmarks by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc. (BDTI). The Xtensa LX BDTIsimMark2000 score of 6150 at 370 MHz is 70% faster than the score for the next-fastest licensable core benchmarked by BDTI, the CEVA-X1620.*

For this benchmark, Tensilica created a unique, optimized processor configuration. Tensilica’s engineers used the Xtensa Processor Generator, selecting the check-box options that fit the benchmark. Then Tensilica’s engineers added 12 custom instructions using the TIE (Tensilica Instruction Extension) methodology to further accelerate performance hot spots in the algorithms.

The configuration chosen for the BDTI BenchmarksTM is approximately 250K gates, occupies 4.4 mm2 and is projected to achieve a robust 370 MHz clock rate under worst case operating conditions in a commercially available 130 nm process from a leading wafer foundry. Tensilica reports that this high-performance DSP core minimizes power requirements, dissipating a mere 0.53 mW/MHz in dynamic (switching) power under typical operating conditions – producing a total power dissipation (dynamic plus leakage power) of only 200 mW at a 370 MHz operating speed.**

Vectra LX DSP Engine
The configuration used in the BDTI BenchmarksTM includes Tensilica’s new Vectra LX engine, which provides a fast path for designers that delivers ultra-high-performance DSP capabilities. The Vectra LX DSP engine offers a rich, general-purpose DSP instruction set of more than 200 instructions tailored for classic signal processing algorithms such as filters and FFTs. It utilizes Xtensa LX’s dual-load store units to provide full DSP capability in a small size with low power. The Vectra LX option can be used as-is by simply selecting it as a check-box configuration option for an Xtensa LX processor, or also can be delivered as a TIE source file for use as a starting point in the development of customized high-performance DSPs.

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.

* The BDTIsimMark2000TM provides a summary measure of DSP speed. For more information and scores see www.BDTI.com.

The Xtensa LX score assumes use of 12 custom TIE instructions that expand the area of the core by 16%. Licensees may require greater or lesser degrees of customization. The scores for all other cores assume that no coprocessors or other customizations were used. The scores for the Xtensa LX and all other cores are for worst case operating conditions in a commercially available 130 nm process. Contact info@BDTI.com for more information.

** The Xtensa LX configuration tested consumes a static leakage power of 5.5 mW plus dynamic switching power of 0.53 mW/MHz on a representative computational benchmark kernel under typical operating conditions (130 nm high-performance process – nominal process case, operating voltage 1.2V).

Tensilica, and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica Inc. BDTI Benchmarks and BDTIsimMark2000 are trademarks of Berkeley Design Technology, Inc.

Tensilica’s announced licensees include Agilent, ALPS, AMCC (JNI Corporation), Astute Networks, Avision, Bay Microsystems, Berkeley Wireless Research Center, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Conexant Systems, Cypress, Crimson Microsystems, 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, Sony, STMicroelectronics, TranSwitch Corporation, and Victor Company of Japan (JVC).

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