KANATA, Ontario -- Tundra Semiconductor Corp. here has designed a DSP-array processor to speed packet processing over gateways and PBX systems.
Traditionally a manufacturer of I/O interconnect and management chips, Tundra has specifically targeted communication-system designers with the new Tsi920, which initially will connect two Texas Instruments Inc. DSP families, the 54xxx and C6xxx family, said Jim Parisien, product manager at Tundra.
The device connects up to 32 DSPs via four DSP ports, each one capable ofhandling four DSPs. Since production is slated for a year from now, that leaves
Tundra plenty of time to add support for the Motorola 56K family of DSPs, as is
the company's plan.
According to Rick O'Connor, vice-president of sales and marketing at Tundra, the
chip is being targeted at three different applications: a broadband-based cable or
DSL platform, through which voice, video, and data services enter the home; a
voice-over IP/frame relay/ATM system in an office; and cellular base stations.
By off-loading the management of DSP traffic from a host processor, the Tsi920
enables the processor to focus on protocol termination and routing. This results in
increased system throughput and greater channel density, according to the
company. The result, ideally, will be the design of smaller and more
In conventional systems, the host processor must detect and retrieve tens of
thousands of packets per second for its associated DSP array-a tremendous
burden on the processor, O'Connor said. The chip's intelligent-packet-management functionality off-loads this task from the processor,
improving the efficiency of the overall system. The Tsi920 frees the system
resources to process many more channels-up to 3,000 channels per Tsi92-or take
on more applications.
Final pricing has not been set, but the chip should sample in the mid-$40 range, Parisien said. Samples are expected during the fourth quarter.