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Texas Instruments unleashes 1 GHz DSP

This leap in raw performance will fuel next-generation improvements and innovations in artificial vision, wireless home media centers, streaming media infrastructure and content delivery and other real-time applications (please see www.ti.com/1ghzdspp).

This achievement comes just weeks after TI set the world record with a 720 megahertz DSP.  No other DSP manufacturer has come close to the 1 GHz barrier or even the 720 MHz level, with most operating below 500 MHz.  With this development, designers will be able to create a whole new realm of applications, including commercial and consumer products that build on TI´s 20-year legacy of signal processing innovation.  TI is scheduled to sample the 1 GHz DSP in the first half of 2004 using the latest 90-nanometer process technology. 

“From digital cell phones to video cameras to medical imaging, millions of consumers are already benefiting from the real-time performance of DSPs without even realizing it,” said Greg Delagi, vice president and general manager, digital signal processors, TI.  “This 1 GHz level of performance will bring even faster streaming, richer content and anywhere, always-on connectivity, enabling a true digital lifestyle.”  

1 GHz Performance Will Enhance Existing Applications And Drive New Innovation

Researchers at the University of Southern California are developing artificial vision that will tap the performance of a 1 GHz DSP to enable vision-impaired people to improve their visibility from 16 pixels to 1,000 pixels.  This translates into seeing only the difference between day and night versus being able to recognize movement and see large objects.

“There are hundreds of millions of photo receptors in your eye and 1.2 million fibers going from the eye to your brain.  With the amount of information that is processed by the eye, the amount of image processing and the horsepower that is needed is tremendous,” said Dr. Mark Humayun, professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and associate director of research at the Doheny Retina Institute.

“TI´s advancements in digital signal processing to 1 GHz will help us to convert complicated images into data streams and do it in real-time.  No one wants to see a bus that went by a minute ago, and you can imagine how interested we are in bringing real-time vision to our patients.”  

In the home, 1 GHz performance will lead to the development of products such as a media center for viewing of high-definition TV on a variety of entertainment and productivity devices, including TVs, PCs and PDAs, with no wires, while simultaneously recording high-definition content for later viewing. 

Similarly, infrastructure and network equipment manufacturers require a high level of processing performance to deliver real-time broadcast-quality video-on-demand over all-digital networks.  A 1 GHz-class processor will further enable transcoding video (convert from one video format to another), transrating video (scaling from a higher bit-rate to lower bit-rate), real-time audio synchronization, audio encoding/decoding support, multiplexing and demultiplexing of video streams and encryption. 

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