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Tensilica Lays the Foundation for Software Programmable LTE-Advanced User Equipment PHY (Layer 1) in Less Than 200mW

New ConnX BBE32UE Optimized DSP Core Coupled With Tensilica Dataplane Processors (DPUs) Enable Ultra-Low Power LTE-Advanced PHY (February 21, 2012)

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/21/12 -- After great success in the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) handset baseband market, Tensilica®, Inc. today announced that it is driving the transition to LTE-Advanced and has already secured lead customers for its new product -- the ConnX BBE32UE DSP (digital signal processor) IP core for baseband SOC (system-on-chip) designs. Using the ConnX BBE32UE DSP core, coupled with Tensilica Baseband Dataplane processors (DPUs), a fully software programmable, flexible modem for LTE-Advanced user equipment category 7 PHY (Layer 1) can be realized in less than 200mW (28 nm HPL process). It can also support 2G, 3G, LTE and HSPA+ standards.

The transition from LTE to LTE-Advanced can require up to a 5x algorithm and data rate computation increase within a very tight power budget. Tensilica has worked with leading handset manufacturers to optimize the architecture and the instruction set of the ConnX BBE32UE for algorithms required by user equipment applications.

"Tensilica has made significant inroads into the LTE market, and this new product looks well positioned for LTE-Advanced user equipment," stated Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts and leading DSP analyst. "Tensilica understands how tight the power budget will be for LTE-Advanced and has applied their customizable processor technology to meet this challenge."

Tensilica's flexible, processor-based solution is ideal for LTE-Advanced because the new algorithms may well need changing during field and interoperability testing. Previous design methods with hardwired implementations will not be able to provide the flexibility of algorithm updates, and most conventional wireless communications DSPs will fail to meet the power budget. With new, very low-power DSP core and Baseband DPUs, Tensilica can offer system developers a path to implement flexible, ultra-low-power PHY systems.

Data bandwidth, an important criterion for LTE-Advanced User Equipment applications, is enhanced in the ConnX BBE32UE through the use of dual 256-bit load/store units. Additionally, designers can use Tensilica's proprietary Port (general-purpose I/O) and Queue interfaces to directly connect hardware blocks to the processing ALUs. This allows single cycle dedicated access without the need to go over a system bus, hence reducing the required clock frequency and power consumption.

"Our new ConnX BBE32UE IP core helps us reach new performance levels at the low power required for handset design," stated Eric Dewannain, Tensilica's vice president and general manager, baseband business unit. "We are excited about our design activity with major handset OEMs and IC manufacturers and appreciate their input as we worked to meet the challenging performance/power/area LTE-Advanced handset modem requirements."

Like other members of Tensilica's ConnX family of DSPs, the ConnX BBE32UE is fully programmable in C. It is software compatible with other ConnX DSPs and supported by an optimized DSP library.

While early access customers now have access to ConnX BBE32UE, general product release is planned for the third quarter of 2012.

About Tensilica
Tensilica, Inc. is the leader in dataplane processor IP cores. Dataplane processors (DPUs) combine the best capabilities of DSPs and CPUs while delivering 10 to 100x the performance because they can be optimized using Tensilica's automated design tools to meet specific and demanding signal processing performance targets. Tensilica's DPUs power SOC designs at system OEMs and seven out of the top 10 semiconductor companies for designs in mobile wireless, telecom and network infrastructure, computing and storage, and home and auto entertainment. For more information on Tensilica's patented, benchmark-proven DPUs visit

Editors' Notes:

  • Tensilica and Xtensa are registered trademarks belonging to Tensilica, Inc. All other company and product names mentioned are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
  • Tensilica's announced licensees include: Afa Technologies, ALPS, Aquantia, Astute Networks, Atheros, AMD, Avision, Bay Microsystems, Brocade, Broadcom, Cavium, Chelsio, Cisco Systems, CMC Microsystems, Conexant Systems, Design Art Networks, EE Solutions, Epson, Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Semiconductor, Huawei, iBiquity Digital, Ikanos Communications, Intel, Juniper Networks, LG Electronics, Lucid Information Technology, Marvell, Maxim, NEC Corporation, Nethra Imaging, Novatek, NuFront, NXP, Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., Panasonic Mobile, Plato Networks, PnpNetwork Technologies, PowerLayer Microsystems, QLogic, Samsung, Shanghai High Definition Digital Technology Industrial Corporation SiBEAM, Sirius XM Radio, Sony, Stretch, TranSwitch Corporation, Triductor Technology, Valens Semiconductor, Validity Sensors, VIA, Victor Company of Japan (JVC), and Wolfson Microelectronics.

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