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TI Ships Industry’s First 1 GHZ DSP

Texas Instruments have announced the release of a new 1 GHZ digital signal processor (DSP). DSPs are chips used in many devices to convert analog signals into digital data. The TI announcement means that devices using this technology can operate faster, and possibly become cheaper to manufacture.

From TI’s press release:

Giving customers the performance they demand to develop future innovative applications, Texas Instruments (TI) today announced it is now shipping the world´s first 1 GHz digital signal processor (DSP), leveraging the 90 nanometer (nm) process node.  The new 90 nm process has also been applied to the existing TMS320C64x 720 MHz parts, enabling customers to save more than half the price on these devices.  

The TMS320C6414T, C6415T and C6416T DSPs at 1 GHz offer outstanding performance, providing eight GigaMACs on 8-bit data for video and imaging applications or four GigaMACs on the 16-bit data common to speech and audio applications.   This unparalleled performance translates into a new spectrum of applications ranging from adaptive antenna arrays to smart cars to artificial vision while increasing the bandwidth and channel capacity of existing real-time applications, such as wireless base stations, IP-based video, high-speed broadband networking, medical diagnostics and radar.  

For example, a single 1 GHz device can process eight channels of MPEG-2 video transrating, real-time D1 (720×480) resolution or 55 channels of GSM Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) speech coding in a wireless infrastructure application.  Being able to achieve these levels of performance in a single chip enables developers to avoid the complexities of having to design with multiple processors.

The 90 Nanometer Advantage for Performance and Lower Cost

TI achieved this 1 GHz performance breakthrough with innovative design methodology and improved manufacturing processes applied in 90 nm technology, which allows TI to make faster and smaller chips than ever before.  Moving transistors closer together increases speed of operation, as well as allows a higher density of on-chip memory to increase application efficiency.  The move to 90 nm also reduces manufacturing cost by reducing the die size, delivering close to 50% more die per wafer.  This has enabled TI to cut the price of its existing 720 MHz C64x devices by more than half.  This 90 nm process technology will also ease integration of system-on-a-chip architectures by streamlining communication between the DSP, memory, peripherals, RISC processors and analog components.

Architectural Vision and Design Enhancements Enable Innovation

Several architectural innovations in the C64xTM generation, implemented in 2000 with a vision toward today´s faster 90 nm process technology, enable the 1 GHz clock rate.  These innovations include an instruction pipeline architected to operate efficiently at 1 GHz and beyond, a dual data architecture with 32 32-bit register files per datapath, and balanced implementation of data functional units to match critical path execution.  The 1 GHz device has been evaluated by Berkeley Design Technology, Inc. (BDTI), an independent analyst firm, and received a BDTIMark2000TM of 9130, which is the highest score BDTI has published for a mainstream DSP to date.  The current 720 MHz device has achieved a BDTIMark2000 of 6570.  (The BDTIMark2000 provides a summary measure of DSP speed.  For more information and scores, please see http://www.bdti.com/.  Score © 2004 BDTI.) 

As with any performance improvement, TI is committed to ensuring compatibility with previous generations of our devices.  The C64x instruction set architecture has not been changed.  The design and process enhancements are invisible to developers, and the new 1 GHz and 720 MHz devices at 90 nm are code compatible with their predecessors, eliminating the need to write new software.  In addition, the new devices are also pin-to-pin compatible with previous versions, enabling drop-in replacement for increased performance, lower power consumption and lower cost in existing designs without extensive redesign.  For customers not yet needing 1 GHz of performance, TI offers a complete platform of high-performance C6000 DSPs ranging from sub-$9 to 1 GHz with the right combination of performance, peripherals and price to meet any high performance application need.

Pricing and Availability

The 1 GHz C6414T, 6415T and 6416T DSPs are sampling today.  All three devices have 1 MB of on-chip memory, and are differentiated by their various integrated peripherals.  Production pricing starts at $189 for the 1 GHz C6414T in 10k unit quantities, which will be available in 4Q04.  The 720 MHz versions of these devices will also be available with up to a 50% price reduction, including the 90 nm C6415T starting at $115 in 10k unit production quantities (for information on ordering samples, please go to www.ti.com/1ghzsamplingp).  The 1 GHz devices will be demonstrated at the TI Developer Conference in Houston on February 18-20, 2004; for more information, please go to www.ti.com/tidc04mr.

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