LSI Logic launches Sub-$4 DSP unit - Embedded.com

LSI Logic launches Sub-$4 DSP unit

LSI LOGIC BREAKS KEY DSP INDUSTRY METRICS WITH NEW ULTRA LOW COST, LOW-POWER STANDARD PRODUCT

LSI403LC breaks four dollar price barrier and competitive device metrics across the board (http://www.zsp.com/products/standard_products/lsi403lc.html)

Enables new cost-sensitive, DSP-enabled applications

ZSP standard product offers clear migration path to further cost reduction through DSP core licensing

MILPITAS, Calif. — LSI Logic Corporation today announced the addition of an ultra low cost standard product to its ZSP LSI403 digital signal processor (DSP) chip family. Breaking industry benchmarks at an unprecedented sub-$4.00 volume price point, the LSI403LC offers a maximum throughput of 480 million instructions per second (MIPS), 96K bytes of on-chip memory, and operates at less than 40 milliwatts of power running at 120 MHz. The LSI403LC is ideal for cost-sensitive applications requiring low power consumption, high throughput and flexibility such as VoIP terminals, battery-powered portable devices and low-cost consumer electronic devices.

“Never before has so much DSP capability been available at such a reasonable price,” said Brian Carlson, DSP product marketing manager, LSI Logic. “With the LSI403LC, we are offering four times the peak performance, three times the on-chip memory and half of the power of comparatively priced products. Our customers have an increasing need for signal processing capabilities with the right balance of performance, energy efficiency, price and on-chip memory, and we are delivering the optimal solution.”

System designers selecting the LSI403LC also benefit from the ability to drive future innovations by later migrating their ZSP standard product to system-on-chip integration for further cost reduction while leveraging their software investment. The ZSP processing solutions are the only DSP technology in the market available in all four forms: standard product, ASIC core, Platform ASIC and licensable IP.

The LSI403LC is based on the LSI Logic ZSP400 DSP core, a proven 16-bit fixed-point, dual-MAC, dual-ALU architecture that is capable of executing up to four instructions in parallel. The LSI403LC operates up to 120 MHz for a maximum throughput of 480 MIPS and is implemented in a 0.13 micron copper technology process, resulting in a smaller die size and lower power consumption.

The LSI403LC includes an enhanced 8-bit host port interface (HPI) for glueless interfacing with host processors, a 128-channel TDM serial port, an 8-channel DMA controller and two 16-bit timers. The LSI403LC provides 96 Kbytes of configurable on-chip instruction/data memory. Configurable memory allows developers to optimize on-chip instruction and data memory allocation for their specific applications. The large on-chip memory supports complete audio and voice applications, eliminating the need for external memory that would increase system cost and power. Off-the-shelf bundled software is available for the LSI403LC that supports up to four channels of voice for low-cost VoIP applications, as well as a wide range of optimized digital audio algorithms for consumer applications. Complete documentation for the LSI403LC device is available at http://www.zsp.com/products/standard_products/lsi403lc.html

Housed in a 14 x 20 mm, 128-pin PQFP package, the LSI403LC is immediately available and is priced at under $4 in 10K volume shipments.

For more information about the ZSP Processing Solutions please visit http://www.zsp.com/.

It may be a bit too early to say that a price war has begun in the digital signal processor arena. But, the LSI Logic move this week that prices its newest ZSP standard product at under $4 ($3.96 to be exact) in 10K unit quantities may be an indicator of things to come this fall and winter as suppliers try to make inroads in the hot new voice-over-internet related markets. The power consumption will certainly be another differentiator to keep an eye on in the months ahead.

As per the release to the left of this review, LSI Logic is claiming to break industry benchmarks with its new ZSP LSI403 family. The LSI403LC DSP offers a maximum throughput of 480 million instructions per second, 96K bytes of on-chip memory, and it operates at less than 40 milliwatts of power running at 120 MHz. According to Brian Carlson, DSP product marketing manager for the line, his new devices offer significant increases in peak performance, on-chip SRAM and as much as half the power consumption of what else is on the market with a lower price.

The LSI403LC is based on the LSI Logic ZSP400 DSP core, a 16-bit fixed-point, dual-MAC, dual-ALU architecture that is capable of executing up to four instructions in parallel. The LSI403LC operates up to 120 MHz for a maximum throughput of 480 MIPS and is implemented in a 0.13 micron copper technology process, resulting in a smaller die size and lower power consumption.

The new device boast a lower power rating than the earlier LSI403LP, coming in at from 25 to 40mw compared with from 55 to 70 mw.

LSI's target are the cost-sensitive applications requiring low power consumption, high throughput and flexibility such as VoIP terminals, battery-powered portable devices and low-cost consumer electronic devices. These of course are the same applicaations being targeted by the likes of Texas Instruments C5402 DSP, Analog Devices Blackfin, and devices from Freescale Semiconductor, among others. With the new level of pricing, don't be surprised to see intense competition between the traditional microcontrollers and the latest generation of DSP chips.

LSI Logic's comment “ZSP standard product offers clear migration path to further cost reduction through DSP core licensing,” is also noteworthy in light of some interesting developments underway from those MCU vendors that license the increasingly ARM cores.

“Never before has so much DSP capability been available at such a reasonable price,” claims Carlson.”With the LSI403LC, we are offering four times the peak performance, three times the on-chip memory and half of the power of comparatively priced products. Our customers have an increasing need for signal processing capabilities with the right balance of performance, energy efficiency, price and on-chip memory, and we are delivering the optimal solution.” That certainly spells out the issues that differentiate the DSP and MCUs on the market today and the new chips to come.

System designers selecting the LSI403LC also benefit from the ability to drive future innovations by later migrating their ZSP standard product to system-on-chip integration for further cost reduction while leveraging their software investment. The ZSP processing solutions are the only DSP technology in the market available in all four forms: standard product, ASIC core, Platform ASIC and licensable IP, according to Carlson.

The LSI403LC includes an enhanced 8-bit host port interface (HPI) for glueless interfacing with host processors, a 128-channel TDM serial port, an 8-channel DMA controller and two 16-bit timers. The LSI403LC provides 96 Kbytes of configurable on-chip instruction/data memory. Configurable memory allows developers to optimize on-chip instruction and data memory allocation for their specific applications. The large on-chip memory supports complete audio and voice applications, eliminating the need for external memory that would increase system cost and power.

Off-the-shelf bundled software is available for the LSI403LC that supports up to four channels of voice for low-cost VoIP applications, as well as a wide range of optimized digital audio algorithms for consumer applications. More details about the LSI403LC device is available at complete documentation.

Housed in a 14 x 20 mm, 128-pin PQFP package, the LSI403LC is immediately available and is priced at $3.96 in 10K volume shipments.

Carlson told me to expect additional devices before the year is out. Slated for fourth quarter introduction will be the upcoming LSI403HP. It will be a 200 MHz part that will support from 8 to 12 ports, compared with today's 150 MHz device that handles from 4 to 8 ports.For more information about the ZSP Processing Solutions please visit www.zsp.com

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