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Synopsys IP sub-system optimises audio SoCs

Posted: 18 Apr 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:audio IP sub-system  SoC design  FPGA 

Synopsys Inc. debuts the DesignWare SoundWave Audio Sub-system touted as a complete, integrated hardware and software audio IP sub-system for SoC designs.

The DesignWare SoundWave Audio Sub-system is fully configurable and supports 2-7.1 audio streams with 24bit precision to meet the requirements of various audio applications such as DTVs, STBs, Blu-ray discs, portable audio devices and tablets, according to the company.

The SoundWave Audio Sub-system consists of the following components: DesignWare ARC 32bit audio processors, standard digital interfaces, analogue codecs, a comprehensive library of software audio codecs supporting the latest formats from Dolby, DTS and SRS, and a complete software environment including an integrated media streaming framework. It also includes both virtual and FPGA-based prototypes to help engineering teams accelerate software development and validation of the full system, described the company.

Integrated Hardware
The SoundWave Audio Sub-system features the choice of an ARC single or dual-core power-efficient 32bit audio processor optimised for processing multiple high-definition, multi-channel audio streams in parallel. The sub-system includes digital I2S and S/PDIF interfaces for off-chip audio connections as well as high-bandwidth on-chip connections to interfaces such as HDMI. ARM AMBA 3 AXI/AHB protocol system interfaces ease integration into the SoC infrastructure. Analogue audio codecs provide high-quality audio connections for line inputs and outputs, microphones, loud speakers and headphones. An easy-to-use configuration tool allows designers to quickly select options such as number of channels and number of audio interfaces, enabling a complete audio sub-system to be configured in hours instead of weeks if done manually, said Synopsys. The company also offers SoC integration services to help customers integrate the sub-system into their chip or customise it to meet their unique application requirements.

Dedicated Software
The SoundWave Audio Sub-system offers a complete, ready-to-use software environment including audio codecs that support the latest multi-channel audio formats from Dolby Laboratories (e.g., Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD), DTS (e.g., DTS HD Master Audio), SRS Labs (e.g., TruSurround HD4 and TruVolume) and Microsoft (e.g., WMA 10 Pro), as well as popular open source formats such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. The SoundWave Audio Sub-system's integrated media streaming framework embeds decoders, encoders and audio post-processing functions such as volume control, equalisation and surround balance. The framework allows software codecs and post-processing software to be easily instantiated into the sub-system. Audio plug-ins based on the industry-standard GStreamer multimedia software enable developers to quickly integrate audio sub-system software into their host application software.

Virtual and Hardware Prototypes
Developers of software-rich electronic devices, particularly those targeted at the mobile and consumer markets, must address not only the escalating amount of software content in their designs, but also the challenge of developing the software and integrating it with the hardware, noted the company. To ease the software development effort, a Synopsys Virtualizer-based virtual prototype of the SoundWave Audio Sub-system enables early integration of the audio software stack with the application software, months before silicon becomes available. The audio sub-system's HAPS FPGA-based prototyping solution enables immediate software development and provides a scalable platform for rapid full system integration and validation.

The DesignWare Audio Sub-system is available for early adopters with general availability planned for April.

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