Programmable DSP platform packages 4-MAC DSP with smart-audio app. IP

September 05, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Microsemi’s “Timberwolf” platform of Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) has been conceived to address intelligent processing markets, and draws on the company’s experience in voice communications to bridge into new and emerging hands-free applications that require clear speech, free of noise and echo.

The new 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 16-bit DACs in a single leading-edge 64-pin QFN and 56 pin 3x3 CSP packages. Hardware accelerators 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.

Hardware features inlcude

  1. 300 MHz proprietary DSP architecture with hardware acceleration
  2. Host interface: I2C, SPI, UART
  3. Standalone (controller-less) auto-boot from flash
  4. Two clock independent TDM ports (PCM or I2S)
  5. 14 GPIOs, configurable as keypad scanner, and/or built-in control features
  6. Crystal-less operation
  7. Two digital microphone interfaces
  8. Total of four digital microphone inputs
  9. Dual 16-bit digital-to-analogue converters
  10. Headphone amps capable of four single-ended or two differential outputs
  11. Two independent headphone drivers
  12. 16 ohms single-ended or differential drive capability
  13. 32 mW output drive power into 16 ohms
  14. Impulse pop/click protection

The new hardware architecture is matched to many of today's growing needs for intelligent processors that can be used for low-power hands free applications and, the company says, much more. This field upgradable DSP platform, when combined with algorithmic firmware, can enable (acoustic) beam forming, multi-channel acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), direction of arrival and far field MIC capabilities. These new 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 provides a highly programmable intelligent processing platform to develop a wide variety of communications, industrial, enterprise, defence and security solutions. The first four products in the family are;

  1. ZL38040 - Advanced Wideband Audio Processor
  2. ZL38050 - Security Camera Audio Processor
  3. ZL38060 - Connected Home Audio Processor
  4. ZL38080 - Hands-Free Automotive Audio Processor

Microsemi; www.microsemi.com/timberwolfplatform