Editors’ Choice: Products of the Week

Editors' Choice

From two digital processor introductions to a model for all variations of the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processor, here are this week's top product picks on


TI’s C64x+ DSP gets 30% speed boost to 1.2 GHz

One of the hottest offerings this week came from TI, according to Kenton Williston, editor of DSP Design Line. The chip vendor rolled out a 1.2-GHz DSP that it says delivers up to 30 percent more performance at one-third less the cost of current single core DSP processors.

“The C6457 offers features that were previously available only in the TMS320C6474, a more-expensive, three-core DSP,” Williston said. By bringing these features to a lower-cost single-core DSP, TI is giving designers a more affordable design option.”

The company attributed this performance lift to several memory and cache enhancements, and the cost reduction to manufacturing the chip on a smaller process node.

Camera processor boasts real-time lens distortion compensation.

Another key processor this week emerged from Zoran, which introduced its COACH 12 digital camera processor. “It takes correcting for lens distortion to a new level,” said Cliff Roth, editor of Video/Imaging Design Line. He added that the part offers real-time lens distortion compensation for video capture at up to 1080p, allowing manufacturers to save money on the expensive lenses normally needed for HD video.

He also noted that the processor tracks multiple faces simultaneously for improved still image focus, and features a built-in HDMI interface.


Amplifier gets ‘extreme’ makeover

In the analog world, RF Design Line editor, Janine Love, pointed to an amplifier that was unveiled at the 2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference.

“In this case, it is a consortium of researchers working with SiGe to develop a fully-differential amplifier that can operate in a space environment without additional protection from extreme temperatures and radiation,” Love said. “In applications where payload is a premium, it's always good to see someone working on an inherently rad-hard technology.”

Indeed, the amplifier is capable of achieving a large differential gain consistently and with stability at temperatures between 125°C and -18°C.

Chip protects antenna in mobile handsets

Planet Analog editor Bill Schweber cited an ESD protection chip for FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN antennas used in advanced mobile handsets. The CM1282 from California Micro Devices features low capacitance (0.5 pF) antenna port protection and low insertion loss (<-0.25 dB) through 1.8 GHz.

“ESD protection for any and all external I/O—wired and wireless—is an important and overlooked part of design; components such as this make it easier to accomplish,” he said.


Carbon Design shipping ARM Cortex models

And Nic Mokhoff, Design + Products section editor at EETimes, identified Carbon Design Systems' announcement that it has begun shipping implementation-accurate models for ARM Holdings plc's most advanced processor and interconnect components.

“Wireless engineers are leveraging virtual prototypes of their SoC designs as an indispensable tool for performing early architectural analysis for throughput and power tradeoffs,” Mokhoff said. “Firmware developers can use Carbon Design Systems' virtual prototypes to develop and debug their software in advance of real silicon and to optimize the throughput of designs that have been built already.”

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