Tensilica Creates Dolby Digital Plus Decoder with 7.1 Channels

Tensilica(R), Inc. announced that it will deliver a Dolby(R) Digital Plus 7.1-channel decoder designed for HD DVD players, Blu-ray Disc(TM) players, and set-top boxes. Tensilica will also offer a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoder/converter to ensure compatibility with most existing home theater systems equipped with coaxial or optical digital audio inputs. These two optimized decoders have been approved by Dolby for use with Tensilica’s popular HiFi 2 Audio Engine for Xtensa(R) processors and the Diamond Standard 330HiFi audio processor core.

Tensilica’s customers are forecasting they will ship 100 million processor cores with the Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine this year in a variety of consumer devices, making it the most popular commercial audio processor core for system-on-chip (SOC) designs. Hundreds of specialized audio instructions optimize the 24-bit high precision HiFi 2 Audio Engine DSP to reduce code density (reducing memory requirements) and lower power (reducing MHz requirements), making it a very efficient processor core solution for a wide range of audio-enabled consumer products.

With the addition of a Dolby Digital Plus 7.1-channel decoder and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoder/converter, Tensilica expects to expand the popularity of its HiFi 2 Audio Engine – already the de facto standard for cellular phones and other mobile consumer devices – to further penetrate the home entertainment market. Tensilica provides SOC designers with a drop-in, proven, high-quality 24-bit audio hardware solution with over 20 encoders and decoders for a variety of different audio and speech standards.

Dolby Digital Plus is a highly sophisticated and versatile audio coding system designed for next-generation home entertainment applications, including HD DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players and set-top boxes. Dolby Digital Plus is a flexible audio technology that delivers excellent high-definition sound on optical discs as well as on cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes, where bandwidth efficiency is critical. Dolby Digital Plus offers up to 7.1 channels of surround sound and more than three times the audio information of conventional DVDs to deliver a rich, involving entertainment experience.

Tensilica’s MHz efficient Dolby Digital Plus 7.1-channel implementation enables support for the simultaneous decode of primary and secondary audio channels as well as simultaneous streams of 7.1-channel content on a single HiFi 2 Audio Engine.

Tensilica’s Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoder/converter enables native Dolby Digital Plus signals to be automatically and efficiently converted to 5.1-channel Dolby Digital, ensuring full playback compatibility with existing home theater systems that support Dolby Digital (AC-3).

“By porting these Dolby Digital Plus decoders to our HiFi 2 Audio Engine, we were able to take advantage of the hundreds of built-in audio instructions optimized for processing audio streams to make these Dolby software implementations as efficient and low-power as possible,” stated Larry Przywara, Tensilica’s director of multimedia products. “This gives us a tremendous advantage over implementations using standard, general-purpose 32-bit RISC processors or standard 16-bit DSPs.”

“Hardware designers can bypass lengthy design and certification cycles by choosing Tensilica’s HiFi 2 Audio Engine and Tensilica’s Dolby Digital Plus 7.1-channel and 5.1-channel decoders, which have already passed our certification process,” stated Craig Eggers, senior partner marketing manager, Dolby Laboratories. “Tensilica’s optimized HiFi 2 Audio Engine provides an efficient drop-in solution that can help expedite the delivery of new SOC designs for next-generation HD DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players and set-top boxes.”

Pricing and Availability
Both new Dolby Digital Plus decoders will be available for shipment in June 2007 for all licensees of Tensilica’s Diamond Standard 330HiFi or the Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine. Pricing starts at $27,500 for a decoder single project license.

About Tensilica
Tensilica, Inc., is the recognized leader in configurable processor technology and has leveraged that technology to become the leading supplier of licensable controllers and DSP cores for mobile audio and video applications. Tensilica offers the broadest line of controller, CPU, network, and specialty DSP processors on the market today – including full software toolchain and modeling support – in both an off-the-shelf format via the Diamond Standard Series cores and with full designer configurability with the Xtensa processor family. The modern design behind all of Tensilica’s processor cores provide semiconductor companies and system OEMs with the lowest power, smallest area solutions for high-volume products including mobile phones and other consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer peripherals.

Tensilica and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica Inc. Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.