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03 Jan 2013

Tensilica Introduces Low Power DSP IP Core

Tensilica has introduced the HiFi Mini DSP (digital signal processor) core, that supports always listening voice trigger and speech command modes.

Optimized specifically for the smallest area and lowest power in smartphones, tablets, appliances, and automotive applications, the HiFi Mini DSP IP core enables a hands-free experience.

Tensilica is working with Sensory and other software partners that will provide the voice-activation, speech command recognition, voice pre-processing and noise reduction products optimized on the HiFi Mini DSP.

“Voice activation and speech command are essential ingredients in making devices much more user friendly, and we see that the market for devices utilizing this technology will explode in the years ahead,” stated Michael Morgan, mobile devices senior analyst with ABI Research. “A number of companies are working on the software side, but it’s also important to have a very low power DSP to run that software so battery life is not meaningfully impacted. Tensilica’s HiFi Mini will help drive this market.”

Tensilica optimized the HiFi Mini DSP core to be as small and power efficient as possible for voice trigger and voice recognition in two major ways. First, the core uses compact 40-bit encoding, which significantly improves code size. Second, Tensilica added efficient16-bit instructions that are optimized for voice and audio codecs. The result is a post-route core that’s only 0.039 mm2 in 28 nm HPL.

“Power is the single most important factor in enabling always-on listening capability in mobile devices. Using Sensory’s Truly Handsfree™ voice control technology, HiFi Mini is able to achieve less than 88 uW of power for the core in 28 nm HPL, achieving both the lowest power consumption and uncompromising accuracy for speech recognition,” stated Larry Przywara, Tensilica’s senior director of mobile multimedia. “The combination of ultra-low power and small area makes HiFi Mini an attractive addition to mobile as well as other consumer electronics. And as voice control emerges as the natural interface, we expect it will become more ubiquitous as it migrates to automotive, consumer appliances and potentially industrial control.”

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