Configurable Thoughts


Traveling the World – Packing the right stuff in your SoC

Traveling around the world offers an interesting view of the immense diversity of people, cultures, art, music, and so much more. In days gone by you would prepare for the journey by selecting the right clothes, money, passports and other items that would come in useful for your visit. In today’s world, the internet is a great resource to help you decide what to stuff into your backpack. A good place to look is the lonely planet web site.

This is all great if you are traveling to another country, but what if it is your product that is taking off to, say China. Imagine your mobile device with multi-media services on-board that needs to serve the local market in China. There is, needless to say, a much longer period between packing (stuffing your SoC with the right IP and programs) and the moment your product finally arrives in the hands of a consumer than if you were packing to go yourself. You need to be more accurate in your planning when it is your product that is going. Standards for broadcast multimedia services and internet audio & video streaming are still emerging and new versions appear frequently. Fortunately while a tourist cannot download a new shirt, you can download an update for the software on your SoC device and change its programming to support new applications or changes to local standards. This can be done easily if you have embedded microprocessors on your SoC, just make sure you pack the right processor on your chip!

Synopsys announced a new codec on May 11 that supports the Chinese National HD audio standard, an optimized version of the Dynamic Resolution Adaptation (DRA) decoder. This codec can be easily programmed into a DesignWare ARC Sound processor to instantly add support for HD audio in a multimedia product bound for the China market. Of course, you would need to have a DesignWare ARC Sound processor in your SoC to be able to take advantage of this piece of software. If you have packed the right processor your product can travel easily to a new market, if not it could be a bumpy ride.

Traveling around the world makes you aware of the many regional broadcast standards that exist. Prepare your product, like a good traveler, and plan for all of the standards that it is likely to encounter and even some that don’t exist yet. It is easy to do by selecting a flexible embedded processor for your SoC, one that allows you to support the ‘local’ markets even as they change. You have 1.3 billion reasons in China alone to do so.