San Jose, Calif.-- ARC International's new ARCsound audio subsystem has been designed as a preconfigured, licensable audio platform for use in high volume SOC designs. The subsystem includes audio codec software, a pre-configured ARC processor with custom audio extensions and a full suite of hardware and software development tools. The ARCsound subsystem is being targeted at high volume, cost-sensitive audio applications.
ARCsound requires only 75,000 gates in a typical configuration. This is up to 30% smaller than comparable CPU cores, making ARCsound one of the smallest audio solutions available, according to the company.
In addition to reduced die size, ARCsound also operates at a lower clock speed when compared to other solutions, resulting in lower power requirements. ARCsound consumes up to 55% less system power, which results in longer battery life for portable devices, it was said.
"ARC's configurable cores are an excellent foundation for application-specific subsystems," said Derek Meyer, ARC VP Marketing. "With ARCsound, we've leveraged this configurability and combined it with optimized audio codec software to deliver a small, power efficient audio subsystem. The result is lower overall silicon cost, better power efficiency and faster development time - all critical items for tomorrow's digital media product developers."
A critical factor in reducing the overall system size and power is the ARCsound subsystem's DSP-style memory architecture. Both the instruction and data memory organization have been tuned to handle the bandwidth requirements of typical audio signal processing functions. However, ARC's configurable memory approach also allows for adjusting memory sizes to easily incorporate additional tasks. ARCsound further reduces SOC cost through its best-in-class program and table size.
The ARCsound subsystem's optimized audio software suite supports:
MPEG 1,2 Layer I, II, III (MP3) Decode
MPEG 1,2 Layer I, II, III (MP3) Encode
MPEG-2/4 AAC LC Decode
MPEG-2/4 AAC LC Encode
WMA 9.0 Decode
Dolby Digital AC-3 Decode
Dolby Digital AC-3 Consumer Encode
ARCsound uses a 32-bit datapath and 32-bit arithmetic processing to better preserve audio fidelity compared to 16-bit implementations. In order to ensure audio quality is maintained after integrating the subsystem into an SOC, ARCsound has undergone intensive verification at both the hardware and software level. Furthermore, an ARCsound sample implementation is also available and provides an example of integrating the ARCsound subsystem with ARC's MQX RTOS and ARC peripherals.
For more technical information including a list of deliverables and competitive performance data, visit
The ARCsound subsystem is available today. For information about licensing, contact ARC at +1-408-437-3400.