Analog Devices Unveils New Blackfins for Portable, Networked Apps

Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI) is expanding its Blackfin’ line with the ADSP-BF52x family, a scalable series of processors optimized for performance-demanding portable applications including portable media players (PMPs), voice over IP (VoIP) phones, IP cameras, and mobile TV devices.

Advancing the Dynamic Power Management capabilities of Blackfin to achieve the line’s best power efficiency yet — as low as 0.16mW/MHz core power at 250MHz — these newest processors offer system designers a breadth of choice with a high-performance/low-power series (ADSP-BF527/BF525/BF522) operating at 600MHz, and an ultra-low-power series running at up to 400MHz. All incorporate Blackfin Lockbox Secure Technology(TM) to provide capabilities for implementing the next generation of security — for uses that range from safeguarding intellectual property to protected e-commerce and social networking — on digital media devices.

“The new Blackfin processors enable developers to flexibly create their next generation of battery-conserving portable products,” said Will Strauss, president of DSP market watcher Forward Concepts. “With Blackfin, a system designer can choose the right profile for his application at the appropriate price. The Blackfin value proposition and its scalable performance let developers differentiate their products with features that will be most appealing to consumers.”

To minimize bill-of-materials (BOM) cost, development time, and board size, options for integrated system peripherals on the Blackfin ADSP-BF52x include High Speed USB On-The-Go (OTG), 10/100 Ethernet, host DMA port, NAND flash controller, up to 48 general-purpose I/O (GPIO) ports, and more. Additionally, ADSP-BF527C/BF525C/BF522C versions feature an embedded, low-power stereo audio codec for use in space-constrained applications such as PMPs and IP phones.

“This newest branch on the Blackfin family tree offers the performance associated with high-end media players at the cost structure of MP3 player chipsets. The performance, power, and price advantages of the Blackfin BF52x family expand designs to enable a rich feature set,” said Jerry McGuire, vice president, General Purpose DSP, Analog Devices, Inc. “And as portable media devices become more networked and communicate peer-to-peer, our Lockbox Secure Technology helps developers implement a range of security measures for different usage models.”

The Blackfin ADSP-BF52x uses internal voltage regulator and process improvements to enhance the Dynamic Power Management capabilities of Blackfin, which scale power consumption on-chip to match the MIPS necessary for the function being executed at the time.

The range of the BF52x family provides developers a spectrum of choice to match the MIPS capacity, power consumption, and price point suited to their particular applications. With the USB port option, the BF52x media processor is geared to portable applications such as premium audio players. Versions with fewer system peripherals are optimized for use as media co-processors that allow designs to be augmented with additional functionality; for example, enabling video processing to be added to an audio media player. With its power-efficient signal processing and the availability of peripherals that enable glueless connectivity to Ethernet and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g modules, the new Blackfin BF52x family provides capabilities well-targeted for battery-powered VoIP phones and IP-connected cameras.

The BF52x family incorporates Lockbox Secure Technology, a combination of hardware and software mechanisms that provide the means for developers to implement security measures that range from safeguarding secrets such as OEMs’ intellectual property, to verifying the identity of devices and users for protected e-commerce and social networking, to digital rights management (DRM) content protection.

More specifically, Lockbox Secure Technology provides one-time programmable (OTP) memory and a secure processing mode (Blackfin Secure Mode) to enable these capabilities. Its public, non-secure, user-programmable area of OTP memory is suited for storing public keys to authenticate the system in a manner that is controllable and configurable by the developer. A private, secure, user-programmable area of OTP memory lets developers program their own private device assets such as private keys, and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of those assets. Furthermore, using Secure Mode on Blackfin allows systems to be implemented in which only authenticated, trusted code is allowed to execute on the processor within a secure processing environment.

Pricing and Availability
The ADSP-52x family will range from the ADSP-BF527 at 600MHz for $14.50, to the 300MHz version of the ADSP-BF522L for $5.50. All prices are based on 10,000-unit quantities.

A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing
Analog Devices’ Blackfin embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processor with the industry’s highest performance and power efficiency for applications where a convergence of capabilities — multi-format audio, video, voice and image processing; multi-mode baseband and packet processing; and real-time security and control processing are critical. It is this powerful combination of software flexibility and scalability that has gained Blackfin widespread adoption in convergent applications such as digital home entertainment, networked and streaming media, automotive telematics and infotainment, and digital radio and mobile TV.

Because developers today seek to reduce time to market by choosing a robust ecosystem that brings them nearer to the capabilities of their end-products, Analog Devices provides an industry-leading tools, starter kits and support including the familiar ADI CROSSCORE’ software and hardware tools that support other Blackfin Processors. These include the award-winning VisualDSP++’ integrated development and debug environment (IDDE), emulators, and EZ-KIT Lite’ evaluation hardware.

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices’ common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ADI” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Blackfin, CROSSCORE, VisualDSP++, and EZ-KIT Lite are registered trademarks of Analog Devices, Inc. Lockbox Secure Technology is a trademark of Analog Devices Inc.