TI New DSPs Improve Price-Performance by 2.5x

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced the immediate availability of samples of two new digital signal processors (DSPs) – the TMS320C6424 DSP and the TMS320C6421 DSP – that deliver more than 2.5X price/performance improvement, helping OEMs lower overall cost per channel of telecom enterprise gateway and IP-PBX products. Additional applications that are well-suited for the C642x DSPs include printers, scanners, copiers and wireless applications such as pico base stations, home gateways and wireless entertainment devices.

TI’s new C642x DSPs start at only $8.95 in 10 Ku quantities. Leveraging an effective combination of integrated peripherals, on-chip memory and high performance, the C642x DSPs address customers’ needs to reduce overall system costs and improve performance in telecom and networked DSP applications. The devices are 100 percent upward code-compatible with existing TMS320C6000(TM) DSPs and can be programmed utilizing TI´s proven eXpressDSP(TM) software that supports open source and third party software. The processors are supported by new C6424 DSP evaluation module (EVM) and development tools, helping to simplify system development and encourage innovation.

The C642x DSPs provide high DSP performance at an affordable price. Based on the TMS320C64x+(TM) DSP core, the performance of the C6424 DSP and C6421 DSP peaks at 4800 MMACs at 600 MHz. Powerful I/O capabilities are enabled by the EDMA 3.0 with 4.8 GB/s throughput and the 333 MHz DDR2 memory interface. The C6421 DSP at 400 MHz is the lowest cost C64x DSP, and is pin for pin compatible with other C642x DSPs allowing scalability in performance, feature set and price. The on-chip Ethernet MAC reduces the bill of materials (BOM) for networked DSP applications. The large on-chip memory further reduces BOM cost by reducing the need for external memory. The C6424 and C6421 DSPs deliver a 1.6X to 2X boost in raw DSP processing power (e.g. peak 16-bit MMACs), and with a 50 percent price reduction, enable more than a 2.5X price/performance improvement over previous generation DSPs.

Key Third Parties Leverage High Integration of New DSPs
To better address the exploding voice and video over IP (VoIP) market, TI has teamed with Surf Communication Solutions, Ltd. (Surf) to provide ready-made telecom cards and a development support system that significantly reduces time-to-market and development risk. The SurfExpress/PCIeTM and SurfRider/AMC(TM) are Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) media processing platforms based on TI C6000(TM) DSPs. These popular platforms have been pre-integrated with leading manufacturers’ ATCA and MicroTCA systems. Both the SurfExpress/PCIe and SurfRider/AMC feature the SurfDocker(TM), a modular plug-in that carries pairs of mixed types of DSPs, including C642x products, and supports a variety of configurations to meet telecom requirements. The built-in flexibility of the development tools make it possible to begin designing new systems without committing to the specific serial interfaces, the number of DSPs per board needed to achieve the required channel density and the types of DSPs to be integrated into the final board for the customer’s production system. Surf also offers chip-level solutions based on the C642x DSPs that come with a complete multimedia processing package for telecom applications. Additionally, Surf software supports Video Transcode/Transrate (H.263/MPEG 4/H.264) on C642x.

“TI’s new C642x DSPs with higher performance and I/O bandwidth fit perfectly to the triple-play (voice/video/data) convergence model,” stated Avi Fisher, chief technology officer of Surf Communication Solutions. “The C6424 DSP enables Surf to reduce the price per channel by 50 percent and support densities of up to 60 voice over IP ports or 16 video over IP ports. This makes the C6424 DSP an ideal solution for scalable enterprise gateway applications because it allows simultaneous processing of all these transmission types on the same DSP at the lowest cost per channel.”

Also, Adaptive Digital Technologies is announcing the G.PAK software suite for C642x DSPs. “The C6424 is the DSP that many of our customers need in order make feature-rich, cost-effective, competitive products. The C6424 offers plenty of performance and has the right set of peripherals for telecom applications, all at a market-enabling price. Based upon the enormous amount of early interest in this device, we have made a strategic decision to focus heavily on the C6424 DSP by porting our entire G.PAK application to it. If there were ever a good reason to put a few extra eggs in a single basket, the C6424 DSP is that basket,” said Scott Kurtz, VP Engineering, Adaptive Digital Technologies, Inc.

Both new DSPs are available in 400, 500 and 600 MHz speeds. The C6421 DSP provides 16 KB of L1D and 16 KB of L1P and 64 KB of L2 SRAM cache for a total of 96 KB. The C6421 DSP also includes two EMIF interfaces, a 16-bit 266 MHz DDR2 and an 8-bit EMIFA, and a VLYNQ and McBSP and McASP interface. The C6424 DSP features 80 KB of L1D, 32 KB of L1P, and 128 KB of L2 SRAM cache for a total of 240 KB. The C6424 includes a 32-bit 333 MHz DDR2 and a 16-bit EMIFA, a PCI 33 MHz or VLYNQ interface for an optional FPGA interface and two McBSP or a McASP interface. The C6424 and C6421 DSPs also feature an EMAC (RMII/MII) or HPI / RMII, two UARTs, I2C, GPIO, three PWM and two 64b-timers. The two chips are pin compatible with each other so they can easily be swapped out to increase performance or reduce cost. Both new DSPs are available in two sizes, a 16 mm by 16 mm, the smallest package size ever offered for a C64x DSP, and a 23 mm by 23 mm ball grid array (BGA) package at 0.8 mm pitch and 1.0 mm pitch respectively.

The C6424 EVM, priced at $495, is available today and offers exceptional value, containing all necessary development tools, software and more. In addition to Code Composer Studio(TM) IDE, DSP/BIOS(TM) kernel, Chip Support Library (CSL) and audio codecs, the EVM also includes VirtualLogix’s uCLinux. TI is continuing its multi-operating system (OS) offering for DSPs by providing the field proven DSP/BIOS kernel and uCLinux for no additional charge. Developers can choose the OS of their choice, and if they require a hybrid combination of both, VitrualLogix also offers VLX software that enables DSP/BIOS kernel and its applications to run concurrently with uCLinux and its applications on a single DSP. This is an effective RISC replacement option; the performance of the DSP allows real-time DSP tasks with uCLinux applications like the network stack. The EVM also includes TI’s TCP/IP Network Developer’s Kit (NDK), which is an easy-to-use development environment for integrating TI’s TCP/IP stack with DSP applications. In today’s competitive environment, TI wants to accelerate customer time to market and the new TMDSEVM6424 Evaluation Module helps make this happen.

“The new C6424 and C6421 DSPs will be critical enablers in the emerging market of networked DSP applications,” said Gerard Andrews, C642x DSP marketing manager for Texas Instruments. “With ability to process voice, video, and data with ease and with native networking capabilities, these new DSPs will be a natural choice for OEMs building new innovative DSP-based devices that connect to the IP network.”

TI complements the C6424 DSP with its high-performance analog portfolio including high-speed data converters and power management products, such as the TPS40K DC/DC controllers and TPS730xx family of low-dropout (LDO), low-power linear voltage regulators. For ATCA and MicroTCA applications, TI offers comprehensive power management solutions as well as M-LVDS interface devices for synchronous clocking.

Availability and Pricing
The TMS320C6424 and TMS320C6421 DSPs are available now in sample quantities and will be available in production quantities in the fourth quarter of 2007. The C6424 DSP is priced at $15.95 for 400 MHz, $19.95 for 500 MHz and $24.95 for 600 MHz parts. Pricing for the C6421 DSP is $8.95 for 400 MHz, $11.95 for 500 MHz and $16.95 for 600 MHz parts. Bundled products comprised of Surf software and TI C642x DSPs are available now; C6424SURFVDZWT6 at $30.36 includes the voice and video software bundle with a TMS320C6424 600 MHz DSP, and C6421SURFVOZWT4 at $12.35 includes the voice software bundle with TMS320C6421 400 MHz DSP. Additional TI and Surf bundled combinations are available and pricing is based on 10 Ku quantities, direct from TI. The TMDSEVM6424 is priced at $495.

About TI
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers’ real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Education Technology business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.

TMS320C6000, C6000, TMS320C64x+, Code Composer Studio, DSP/BIOS and eXpressDSP are trademarks of Texas Instruments.