Stretch Licenses Tensilica Xtensa LX Processor, HiFi 2 Audio Engine

Tensilica, Inc. and Stretch(R) Inc. announced that Stretch of Sunnyvale, California, USA, has licensed Tensilica’s Xtensa(R) LX processor and HiFi 2 Audio Engine for use in their next-generation Software Configurable Processor. The Stretch S6000 family of processors is targeted towards audio/video applications and achieves unrivaled video processing performance using a dual issue, VLIW configuration of the Xtensa LX processor coupled with the second generation of Stretch’s Instruction Set Extension Fabric (ISEF).

Craig Lytle, Stretch President and CEO commented; “The ability to accelerate a target application for the Xtensa processor through the creation of Tensilica Instruction Extensions in real time, is key to achieving the breakthrough performance levels needed by today’s demanding audio/video processing applications. We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Tensilica into our new S6000 family and are tremendously excited about the performance levels we have been able to deliver in this platform.”

The second generation ISEF used in the S6000 family includes 64KB of embedded RAM for local data storage directly within the Extension Fabric. A dedicated DMA channel to this embedded RAM (IRAM) ensures that data is always available to support the enhanced performance levels achieved when using the new dual issue VLIW Xtensa LX processor. The combination of the Xtensa LX and the new ISEF delivers more than three times the performance of previous generations of Stretch processors.

For audio processing, the Stretch S6000 family includes the Tensilica HiFi 2 Audio Engine. The ability to program the Xtensa processor using standard C/C++ source code, coupled with the acceleration afforded by the HiFi 2 Audio Engine, gives the S6000 family the optimum mix of flexibility and cost effectiveness needed in today’s systems.

“Audio is becoming pervasive, and we have a number of customers who are interested in a processor with built-in multiformat audio,” stated Robert Beachler, Stretch vice president of marketing. “We selected Tensilica’s HiFi 2 Audio Engine because of its performance level and for its support of 19 of the world’s most popular audio formats.”

The Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine uses 24-bit audio processing, giving it inherent advantages over common 16-bit audio processors in use today. It provides superior sound quality of compressed files because of the increased precision available for intermediate calculations in the compression and decompression algorithms.

“By embedding our Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine in future products, Stretch will allow its customers to quickly and effortlessly design high-quality audio into their products,” stated Steve Roddy, Tensilica’s vice president of marketing. “Stretch’s software configurable processor chips eliminate the need to go through the expense and time of custom chip design, and deliver impressive price performance levels for audio and video processing applications.”

Because it is fully programmable, multiple audio standards can run on the same hardware. Tensilica offers 19 audio and speech encoder and decoder packages for the Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine that Stretch will be able to make available to its customers, including:

  • Dolby(R) Digital AC-3
  • Dolby Digital Plus Consumer Decoder
  • MP3
  • MPEG-4 aacPlus v1 and v2
  • MPEG-2/4 AAC LC
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • WMA
  • AMR Wideband and Narrowband Speech
  • G.729AB Speech

As Tensilica releases additional audio codecs for the HiFi 2 Audio Engine, those codecs will be made available to Stretch’s customers.

About Stretch
Stretch Inc. is delivering a family of software configurable processors, the first to embed programmable logic within the processor. Using familiar C/C++ programming tools, system developers automatically configure Stretch’s off-the-shelf processors to achieve extraordinary performance, easy and rapid development, significant cost savings, and flexibility to address diverse markets and changing application needs. Founded in March 2002, Stretch is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has been funded through investments from Worldview Technology Partners, Oak Investment Partners and Menlo Ventures.

About Tensilica
Tensilica offers the broadest line of controller, CPU and specialty DSP processors on the market today, in both an off-the-shelf format via the Diamond Standard Series cores and with full designer configurability with the Xtensa processor family. Tensilica’s low-power, benchmark proven processors have been designed into high-volume products at industry leaders in the digital consumer, networking and telecommunications markets. All Tensilica processor cores are complete with a matching software development tool environment, portfolio of system simulation models, and hardware implementation tool support.

Tensilica and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica, Inc. Dolby is a registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories, Inc.