After looking at the future of the TV market and analysing the potential of Meta, Imagination’s general-purpose processor, it’s high time we underline some of the potential of our CPU offering in the high-definition audio market, more specifically how one can take advantage of the recently achieved Dolby MS11 certifications for applications such as HDTV, DVD and Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes and game consoles.

As you may guess, the certification process having completed successfully means there’s a new and vast array of possibilities for designers to integrate our product in their platforms by taking advantage of its rich DSP capabilities. By using one of the available two to four threads, the processor can help decode an extensive range of multi-stream audio standards, making it an ideal choice for premium audio formats, including Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, HE AAC with Dolby metadata and all HE AAC/AAC bitstreams.

Imagination’s Meta CPU: an advanced general purpose, DSP and audio processing solution

Our vision has always been to provide the IP solutions which can enable the new multimedia revolution. We have thus designed our Meta CPU as a multi-purpose processor that can handle multiple threads of execution in parallel, including stand-alone operating systems like Android or Linux, DSP engines or even a real time operating system (RTOS).  If we look at Pure’s DAB radios, we can see this coming together in a compelling real-world example.

Pure brings together Internet radio as well as conventional analogue and digital broadcasts and all of this is possible by using our single multi-threaded CPU. Alongside audio processing, the core also runs a Linux-based user interface that can connect to the internet. By employing AMA (Automated MIPS Allocation), our patented technology that ensures real-time operation and determinism, Meta is able to dynamically achieve audio decoding and radio signal demodulation while keeping the main operating system running smoothly, all without breaking a sweat. This CPU architecture gives us a competitive advantage and ensures resources are always made available with an inherently lower power approach compared to classical multi-core solutions.

4-threaded Meta CPU

4-threaded Meta CPU deployment in a DAB/Internet radio

The advantages of Dolby MS11

Some of you remember Batman Returns from the early nineties which, alongside Penguin’s ‘bird army’ – a mix of (at the time) revolutionary CGI effects, robotic creatures and men dressed in suits and even real penguins – also introduced Dolby Digital to the world, when it debuted on the big screen in the summer of 1992. Since then, Dolby has pushed its high-definition standards into movie theatres, games, Blu-Ray discs and streaming services, helping to create a varied and complete list of products that incorporate Dolby technologies.

By using our industry-leading experience in graphics and video together with our expertise in audio DSP gained from deploying Meta in a range of products from major brands including Pure, Sony, Roberts or Alpine, we believe we can bring consumers  a superb surround sound experience throughout their connected home.

We recognize Dolby’s strong position in the audio market and we have teamed up with them to provide users with a rich and entertaining multimedia experience, from their handheld devices – including smartphones and tablets – to their home theatres. From games to movies and videos, we aim to unlock the potential behind HD broadcast and online audio streaming and deliver a superior quality for a richer sound experience.

We are therefore very pleased to announce this partnership and hope that future products that incorporate our Meta general-purpose process will benefit from the advantages of using Dolby’s MS11 certification.

So don’t miss out on the latest news by following @ImaginationPR on Twitter and look out for more interesting announcements here, on our blog!

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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