27th April 2010

Imagination debuts full range of TV audio codecs

Imagination's META AXD audio IP platform extended to support all DTV audio standards for surround, DVD, Blu-Ray


Santa Clara, USA: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia chip technologies company, will be demonstrating its latest application platform solutions for high performance, low power multi-channel, multi-standard audio utilising its META multithreaded processor technologies at ESC 2010.

META AXD, a full audio IP platform delivering a complete multi-standard and multi-stream audio solution for System-on-Chip (SoC) designs has been extended to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive suite of standards required for decoding and encoding of audio for DTV and STB applications in all major geographies, as well as providing a powerful processor capable of supporting the most demanding applications such as Blu-ray in a single processor solution.

The suite of TV standards now supported by META AXD includes:
• AAC, HE-AAC v2, MPEG-2 BC, DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus
Other standards supported by META AXD include:
• Dolby Pro-Logic II post-processing plus stereo widening, EQ, re-sampler, reverb
• Musicam, MP3, HE-AAC v2 (including DAB+ transform), Real (Cook), WMA9, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC stereo decoders

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: “”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 System on Chip (SoC) and OS operating conditions, including demanding high system latency environments. 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. For SoCs 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.””

Inside META AXD
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.

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.

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.


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