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Microsemi touts DSP platform for intelligent processing apps

24 Sep 2014

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Microsemi Corp. has uncloaked its Timberwolf platform of digital signal processors (DSPs) intended for the growing intelligent processing markets. The Timberwolf DSP platform allows Microsemi to leverage its extensive expertise and leadership in voice communications to bridge into new and emerging hands-free applications that require clear speech, free of noise and echo, noted the company.

The Timberwolf platform is a third generation low power, advanced DSP architecture designed in a small geometry with a proprietary 4 MAC core, dedicated hardware accelerators, and two independent 16bit DACs in a single leading-edge 64-pin QFN and 56 pin 3 x 3 CSP packages. The hardware architecture is geared for many of today's growing needs for intelligent processors that can be used for low-power hands free applications and much more. This field upgradable DSP platform, when combined with algorithmic firmware, can enable beam forming, multi-channel acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), direction of arrival and far field MIC capabilities. These advanced DSP technologies are the foundation for improved sound quality, automatic speech recognition, sound classification and other intelligent decision-making functions based on sound and intelligent processing.

Timberwolf will provide Microsemi's customers with a highly programmable intelligent processing platform to develop a wide variety of communications, industrial, enterprise, defence and security solutions that are significantly differentiated from the company's competitors. The introduction of the platform strengthens Microsemi's position in communications markets and expands its market opportunity from wired communications to enterprise IP applications, to wearable computing.

The Timberwolf programmable processing platform is an application-specific proprietary 4 MAC DSP engine designed in small geometry. It includes leading-edge dedicated hardware accelerators to perform many complex algorithms and allow for operations at lower frequencies as well as ultra-low power mode and sleep mode, which is critical to saving power in battery run applications.

The hardware features 300MHz proprietary DSP architecture with hardware acceleration; host interface: I2C, SPI and UART; standalone (controller-less) auto-boot from flash; two clock independent TDM ports (PCM or I2S); 14 GPIOs, configurable as keypad scanner, and/or built-in control features; crystal-less operation; and two digital microphone interfaces, a total of four digital microphone inputs.

It also boasts headphone amps capable of four single-ended or two differential outputs that includes two independent headphone drivers, 16Ω single-ended or differential drive capability, 32mW output drive power into 16Ω and impulse pop/click protection.

The first Timberwolf-based devices, ZL38040, ZL38050, ZL38060 and ZL38080, are in production.

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