Sound Design Technologies Designs Wolverine with Target IP Designer

Target Compiler Technologies, the leader in ASIP design tools, and Sound Design Technologies, a leading designer and manufacturer of ultra-low power semiconductor solutions for hearing instruments, jointly announced that Sound Design has adopted Target’s IP Designer tool-suite. IP Designer has been used to design Sound Design Technologies’ forthcoming SoC solution for ultra-low-power medical applications – known informally as Wolverine. Wolverine delivers unprecedented levels of efficiency, flexibility, and integration, integrating both analog and digital functions in one chip. IP Designer was used to design Wolverine’s µDSP core (a dual-MAC DSP engine), of which four µDSP’s are included in this single chip solution.

Sean Lord, Sound Design’s Director of Product Development, comments, “Wearable medical devices, such as hearing instruments, are extremely power sensitive and also have very demanding processing requirements. The power-reducing options available in IP Designer’s RTL generator enabled us to significantly reduce unnecessary switching, and IP Designer’s architectural exploration capability allowed us to define an optimal balance between flexibility and processing efficiency. Even better, we’ve found that IP Designer’s C-compiler delivers such efficient code that we anticipate that much of our future code base will be developed in C (rather than assembly).”

Dan Carlson, Sound Design’s Vice President of Sales adds, “Programmability is a key enabler in the wearable medical device market. Our programmable DSP platforms are used by our customers to build differentiated product offerings with proprietary algorithms – for example, to improve audibility in hearing instruments. Programmability allows a single product to enable each of these customers to develop their own unique solution. The kicker is that this can be done without sacrificing performance, power dissipation, or cost. The people that are telling you that you have to choose between performance and flexibility simply have products based on outdated technology.”

Sound Design’s Wolverine SoC is a single-chip multi-core programmable DSP platform. Wolverine features dual A/D conversion, D/A conversion and a fully configurable patented multi-core architecture with 20-bit data path. The nucleus of the Wolverine SoC is the set of four µDSPs. Target’s IP Designer was used to tune the µDSP instruction set for ultra-low power and low-latency processing of audio algorithms typically found in hearing instruments and related devices.

The Wolverine platform is supported with the GUIDE[TM] development tools – which offer developers a comprehensive solution for algorithm development including modeling, debugging, verification and validation. In the future, GUIDE will integrate Target’s IP Programmer toolset to support efficient C programming of the uDSP’s.

Gert Goossens, Target’s CEO, comments: “Achieving the levels of efficiency and flexibility needed in this market is no small task. However, Sound Design’s µDSP delivers. We are pleased that Sound Design chose IP Designer to develop this key element of their latest SoC. We believe that the quality of results and speed of delivery is a testament to the quality and development efficiency of our tool-set.”

Target’s IP Designer tool-suite is used by engineers to design, optimize and program application-specific processor cores (ASIPs). IP Designer is used all the way from architectural exploration through to implementation and verification. ASIPs are primarily used in one of two ways. First, they are used to provide greater algorithmic/computational efficiency (measured as performance/$/watt) than solutions built on standard embedded processors. Second, they are used to provide post-silicon flexibility (through programmability) to designs that might otherwise be built in hard-coded RTL. Both uses are becoming increasingly commonplace in today’s SoC and FPGA designs.

Sound Design marks one of several design wins announced today by Target.

About Sound Design Technologies
Sound Design Technologies is a leading designer and manufacturer of ultra-low power semiconductor solutions for ultra low-power medical devices, and a leading provider of advanced high density interconnect technologies used in custom miniaturized 3D Multi-Chip Modules (MCM), System-In-Package (SIP) and Stacked Chip Scale Packages (S-CSP). Founded in 2007 via the acquisition of Gennum Corporation’s Audio Division and Manufacturing Operations, Sound Design Technologies is headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, with additional offices in Ottawa.

About Target Compiler Technologies
Target Compiler Technologies is the leading provider of retargetable software tools to accelerate the design, programming and verification of application-specific processor cores (ASIPs). Target’s IP Designer tool suite has been applied by customers worldwide for diverse application domains, including GSM, WCDMA and HSDPA handsets, VoIP, audio coding, automotive infotainment, ADSL and VDSL modems, wireless LAN, hearing instruments, mobile image processing, video processing, and various control and interfacing applications. Target is a spin-off of IMEC, is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, with North American operations in Boulder, Colorado.