11th January 2001

Imagination announces META AXD audio processor IP platform

Innovative solution utilizes multi-threading for maximum system latency tolerance whilst delivering all forms of audio processing


Las Vegas, USA, 8th January 2010: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia chip technologies company announces META AXD, a full audio IP platform delivering a complete multi-standard and multi-stream audio solution for System-on-Chip (SoC) designs.

META AXD takes a new approach, applying multi-threaded processing to deliver industry leading performance in a shared memory, high-latency SoC environment. All audio processing in the SoC is off-loaded to the META AXD core, freeing valuable host processor resources for improving the user experience and delivering value-added applications. The AXD family, which includes AXD230 and AXD270, supports the latest audio standards, including MP3, HE AAC, WMA and surround sound up to 7.1.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: “”;Our multimedia credentials mean that we understand audio is not an island – it needs to be considered alongside all the other requirements in a multimedia SoC, including graphics and video. We also understand that for SoC to be competitive, off-loading key processing-intensive functions such as audio from the CPU very efficiently and at the highest possible level of abstraction is crucial if the system is to be highly responsive in all conditions. META AXD is not just a next generation audio solution handling the most complex audio codecs and post-processing; it is also unique in utilizing multi-threading to deliver that performance under all operating conditions.””;

A single META AXD core can support a wide range of audio codecs and post-processing effects, including all Blu-ray audio processing requirements when implemented in a suitable process such as 65LP. Due to AXD’s unique hardware multi-threaded architecture, together with Imagination’s long experience in high performance, low power consumption SOC solutions, META AXD also enables the elimination of dedicated on-chip memories to further reduce solution silicon area and cost.

META AXD is delivered with codec and post-processing application-specific firmware packs which are managed entirely by the host driver software, minimizing system design and implementation complexity.

The META AXD family supports the following codecs at launch:

  • Musicam, MP3, HE-AAC v2 (including DAB+ transform), Real (Cook), WMA9, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC stereo decoders
  • AAC, HE-AAC v2, MPEG-2 BC, Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Digital Plus multi-channel decoders
  • Dolby Pro-Logic II post-processing plus stereo widening, EQ, re-sampler, reverb

Further HD codecs and post processing effects are under development and Imagination expects to announce ongoing additions to the family’s range of supported codecs.

Firmware packs are organized to target specific market segments, covering application areas such as Connected & Mobile products (Internet Radio, PMPs), Set Top Boxes, HDTVs, DVD/Blu-ray, and Home Theatre.

Inside META AXD
Imagination Technologies’ META AXD Audio DSP IP platforms are complete solutions enabling both multi-stream and multi-standard decode, encode, pre-processing and post-processing of audio. Controlled via a host processor using any of OpenMAX-IL, GStreamer or proprietary APIs, the AXD cores have been designed to operate from an SoC’s shared external memory resources, minimizing total solution cost.

META AXD IP platforms provide ‘drop–in’ support of audio for any SoC, with a wide range of application specific codec packs available together with a choice of control APIs to use on the system host processor. Licensees need not involve themselves in any aspect of the AXD firmware unless they wish to develop their own audio algorithms, for which comprehensive tools are also available.

The AXD IP Cores support a wide range of audio decoders, encoders, and pre- or post-processing effects. Built using META multi-threaded processor technology, the advanced DSP instruction set within the cores combines high performance with low power consumption whilst providing ample computational headroom for even the most complex of usage cases. For example, a single AXD core is able to support all of the audio processing requirements of a Blu-ray player in a 65LP process.

META AXD’s host driver API host software is delivered for Linux, as either Khronos OpenMAX-IL components, GStreamer open source multimedia framework plugins, or a proprietary construction-based API, with other APIs and operating systems available on request.

META AXD cores are available with a range of performance levels to support different audio requirements and system memory latencies, ensuring optimal solutions no matter the application. All cores are binary instruction set compatible, making the choice of AXD IP platform transparent to software.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication silicon technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor cores for graphics, video, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP and multi-standard communications applications. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by strong array of software tools and drivers as well as extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.

David Harold
Imagination Technologies
Imagination House
Home Park Estate, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8LZ
tel +44 (0)1923 260 511
fax +44 (0)1923 270 188
e-mail: david.harold@imgtec.com


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