FREMONT, Calif. -- Centillium Communications Inc. here today will announce what the company claims is the world's highest-capacity processor for voice-enabled broadband applications.
Based on a 32-bit RISC core from Mips Technologies Inc., the new Entropia chip from Centillium is among a new class of voice-processor products in the market that helps deliver both voice and data services over a cable, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), or wireless network.
The Entropia chip is designed to handle the key processing and compression functions in voice-enabled products like digital loop carriers, gateways, and DSL systems, said Surendra Mandava, general manager of the Networking Group at Centillium. The Fremont company specializes in selling DSL-based chip sets and voice-processor products.
"Entropia supports voice-over-DSL applications, but it's not limited to that," said Mandava in an interview with SBN. "It also supports voice-over-cable and voice-over-wireless applications as well."
The single-chip device from Centillium is also designed to reduce system costs. "One of our chips can replace up to 25 discrete devices in a system, including multiple DSPs (digital signal processors) from Texas Instruments," Mandava said. Dallas-based TI supplies discrete programmable DSPs for these applications. But a growing number of companies offer specialized, DSPs-based processors in this market, such as Centillium, PMC-Sierra, VxTel, and others.
The Entropia consists of three components on the same device, which supports forward-error correction and up to 336 voice channels in asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and related networks. The chip can also handle either ATM Adaptation Layer 1 (AAL1) or Layer 2 (AAL2) voice traffic.
The chip includes a R4000 RISC processor core from Mips Technologies, a DSP-based voice engine, and a compute-engine. The device is manufactured in a 0.18-micron process technology by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).
Housed in a 438-pin SBGA package, the device sells from $5 to $10, depending on the quantities and services. Samples are now available.