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DSP-based software eases codec exchange

Posted: 03 May 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:algorithm standard  codec API  DaVinci technology 

Texas Instruments Inc. has introduced the eXpressDSP Digital Media Software Standard (xDM), a low-level API for DSP-based software that provides a framework for integrating and exchanging multiple codecs within an application.

As an integral part of TI's offering to digital video developers leveraging DaVinci technology, xDM compliant codecs of the same class—video, imaging, speech, and audio—can be exchanged easily with no changes required at the application layer.

xDM is an extension of TI's eXpressDSP Algorithm Interoperability Standard (xDAIS), and makes it possible to exchange codecs by simplifying codec APIs to encode, decode and control functions. For fixed applications, the ability to swap out different algorithms without having to rewrite application code enables developers to leverage the same hardware platform across a wide range of applications, said TI.

In addition, for emerging applications, such as Surveillance IP Networked cameras that can support both MPEG-4 and H.264, the ability to dynamically exchange codecs improves management of limited network bandwidth and allows flexible use with security DVRs and other equipment, said the company.

The xDM standard also enables OEMs to create specialised codecs and is flexible enough to allow access to codec internal data while still remaining structured enough to allow the exchange of codecs. xDM also supports IDMA, an interface for managing allocation of DMA resources while maximising codec performance.

By extending the eXpressDSP Algorithm Standard to include xDM, OEMs and third parties can achieve xDM compliance with their existing intellectual property. In addition, the new DaVinci Codec Engine and TI's digital media software, a suite of encoders and decoders such as H.264 and MPEG4, are already xDM compliant. Proprietary software can be made xDM-compliant with a thin, efficient wrapper (written entirely in C) usually in less than a day, said TI.

TI is releasing xDM in a combined package called Multimedia Framework Components, which includes an updated version of the Codec Engine DSP framework, framework components and the latest version of the xDAIS Developer's Kit, which includes the xDM specification and tools. The kit includes source files, example applications and a comprehensive user guide for consumers and developers of algorithms.

- Gina Roos

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