Tensilica Debuts Digital Radio Mondiale Decoder for HiFi 2 Audio DSP

Tensilica,® Inc. announced the immediate availability of the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) decoder on its popular HiFi 2 Audio DSP, which can be easily integrated into system-on-chip (SOC) designs. The implementation is based on software developed by Dolby and has passed Dolby’s certification procedure. Now designers of digital radio systems can use one processor core — Tensilica’s HiFi 2 Audio DSP — to run all decoders required throughout the world for digital radio, enabling a universal worldwide digital radio receiver. Tensilica’s HiFi 2 Audio DSP already has support for four other terrestrial and satellite standards: DAB, DAB+, HD Radio, and XM Radio.

DRM can deliver FM-comparable sound quality on frequencies below 30 MHz (the bands currently reserved for AM broadcasting) for very long-distance signal propagation. It has the advantage of being able to fit more channels into a given amount of spectrum with higher quality because it employs digital audio compression rather than amplitude modulation techniques. DRM has been approved by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), and the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) has approved its use throughout most of the world. Approval for ITU region 2 (North and South America and the Pacific) is pending. More detail on DRM is available at www.drm.org.

“In today’s economy, manufacturers don’t have the luxury of developing different radios for different geographic markets,” stated Larry Przywara, Tensilica’s director of mobile multimedia. “Now single SOCs, including the HiFi 2 Audio DSP, can be compatible with all global digital radio standards. We chose Dolby’s implementation of DRM because of our previous close collaboration with them on HE AAC and derivative standards including DAB+ and T-DMB. Two Tensilica customers have already licensed the HiFi 2 DRM decoder.”

“Both India’s and Russia’s regulators just recently have taken serious steps towards digital radio and mandated DRM due to its advantages of wider geographic coverage in the sub 30 MHz spectrum. With these countries gaining momentum, the arrival of Tensilica’s solution appears to be just in time for the marketplace,” stated Toni Fiedler, senior manager, business development, Dolby Laboratories. “Tensilica’s HiFi 2 Audio DSP will enable development of low cost DRM receivers by leveraging the aggregate investment in all the digital radio standards for highly integrated multi-standard SOCs. HiFi 2 provides a proven, approved, drop-in audio solution.”

Because the HiFi 2 Audio DSP is based on Tensilica’s programmable Xtensa® processor, it provides chip designers with one hardware platform that can be used for multiple audio standards. Tensilica, its customers, and its partners have ported over 50 software packages to the HiFi 2 Audio DSP, so designers can pick the software they need for the application. As the market evolves and new standards are defined, they can be easily and quickly ported to the HiFi 2 Audio DSP, thereby “future proofing” the chip design. The HiFi 2 Audio DSP has been designed into chips for portable devices by five of the top 10 semiconductor companies.

The DRM decoder is available now from Tensilica.

About Tensilica
Tensilica, Inc. is the recognized leader in customizable dataplane processors. Dataplane Processor Units (DPUs) consist of performance intensive DSP (audio, video, imaging, and baseband signal processing) and embedded RISC processing functions (security, networking, and deeply embedded control). The automated design tools behind all of Tensilica’s application specific processor cores enable rapid customization to meet specific dataplane performance targets. Tensilica’s DSPs and processors power top tier semiconductor companies, innovative start-ups, and system OEMs for high-volume products including mobile phones, consumer electronics devices (including portable media players, digital TV, and broadband set top boxes), computers, and storage, networking and communications equipment.

Tensilica and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica Inc.