MILPITAS, Calif. ( ChipWire) -- LSI Logic Corp. has unwrapped the ZSP core, the first product to emerge from its acquisition earlier this year of digital signal processing startup ZSP Corp. The company hopes to see the core adopted as an open standard for the communications industry.
"This is a very powerful architecture," said Tuan Dao, director of products and development for LSI's advanced DSP center. "It is the only true superscalar, RISC-based engine in the DSP world."
LSI Logic is unveiling both the ZSP core and the first standard chip to implement that core, the LSI401Z. The company will make both available to customers who either want to purchase the chip or license the core, and will also offer manufacturing services through its ASIC division.
The ZSP core has a four-way, superscalar, 16-bit architecture. Dual multiply-accumulate units can process two single-cycle 16 x 16 instructions or one single-cycle 32 x 32 instruction. It delivers 800 million instructions per second (MIPS) and runs at 200 MHz. "The beauty in this design is its simplicity," Dao said.
The LSI401Z is the first chip from LSI to utilize the architecture. Dao said it represents the low end of the architecture's range, and several more products will be added to complement the LSI401Z, offering more computing power or less power consumption. The next is expected within a few weeks.
LSI acquired the architecture and the design team in May. While ZSP had garnered praise within the DSP industry for its designs, it lacked marketing clout and analysts approved of the pairing with LSI's sales infrastructure.
The company is aiming ZSP products at the networking and telecom markets, especially for wireless handsets and base stations.
Giuseppe Staffaroni, vice president and general manager of LSI's communications products division, said that LSI intends to license the technology to anybody who asks, including potential competitors, and hopes to see the architecture used in a wide variety of applications. "We see this as an enabling technology," he said. "We want to see the ZSP architecture become a de facto open standard for the communications market."