ARC Sound Subsystem MP3 Decoder Features Lower Power

ARC International (LSE:ARK) announced an optimized MP3 decoder for its ARC® Sound Subsystem operating at under 7 MHz and dissipating less than 0.46 mW of power in a TSMC 90 G process. In comparison, the next best competitive product required over 20 percent more power when performing MP3 decode than the new MP3 decoder on the ARC Sound Subsystem.(1) This further extends the ARC Sound Subsystem energy efficiency for MP3 playback in portable media applications where battery life is the major requirement and the key performance metrics are size, power and performance.

The Best Choice for Audio Players
The new MP3 decoder dissipates only 0.46 mW when decoding a typical MP3 stream at 128kbps/44.1kHz, over 20 percent better than the next nearest competitor. At 0.83mm2 in TSMC 90nm G process, including RAMs, the ARC Sound Subsystem is already one of the industry’s smallest audio IP solutions. With the lowest power consumption and a very small area requirement the ARC Sound Subsystem is a better choice for energy starved and cost-sensitive MP3 applications. Both the hardware and software for MP3 decode is developed and supported by ARC.

ARC’s Investment in Multimedia Software
“ARC’s ongoing investment in software technologies has allowed us to move aggressively to offer highly optimized media codecs including this latest MP3 decoder,” said Derek Meyer, chief operating officer of ARC International. “This advanced level of software optimization and resulting power reduction is a result of our acquisition of Alarity Corporation: the multimedia company with a reputation for leading edge codec software, firmware, and advanced multimedia technologies. This new MP3 decoder for the ARC Sound Subsystem is an example of their world class expertise.”

“Developing an MP3 decoder or any other multimedia codec for ARC CPU cores and subsystems is greatly enhanced by inherent configurability,” said Felix Litvinsky, vice president of business development at ARC and former CEO of Alarity. “Before ARC invented the configurable processor architecture, software developers were confined by a fixed instruction set. Now, programmers can profile code to identify execution bottlenecks and add an instruction that vastly accelerates code performance thus freeing them to create optimized software on optimized hardware.”

The Exploding Opportunity in MP3 Audio
In a recently published research report, Informa Plc estimated that the number of handsets sold with music capabilities would increase 69 percent from 154 million in 2006 to 260 million in 2007. The London-based firm predicted that by 2012, the music phone segment would grow to more than one billion new unit sales. By then, of all the mobile handsets sold worldwide, over 70 percent would be music-enabled, the firm stated.

ARC’s new MP3 decoder for the ARC Sound Subsystem is available immediately. For more information, contact the local ARC sales representative or e-mail Licenses from 3rd parties for certain software and essential patents, including, may be required depending on licensee’s use/implementation. To learn more about the new MP3 decoder as well as other multimedia codecs from ARC, attend ConfigCon Silicon Valley, December 4th at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Registration is Free.

(1) Test results based on ARC engineering analysis comparing published data from three other commercial IP Vendors’ announced MP3 product offerings.

About ARC International plc
ARC International is the world leader in configurable media subsystems and CPU/DSP processors. Used by over 140 companies worldwide, ARC’s configurable solutions enable the creation of highly differentiated system-on-chips (SoCs) that ship in hundreds of millions of devices annually. ARC’s patented subsystems and cores are smaller, consume less power, and are less expensive to manufacture than competing products. ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate and research and development offices in Silicon Valley and St. Albans, UK. ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).

ARC and the ARC logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ARC International.