HiFi DSP boosts audio and neural network processing

The first DSP optimised for speech and audio processing, the Tensilica HiFi 5 is the fifth generation HiFi DSP from Cadence. It is the first IP core optimised for high-performance far-field processing and artificial intelligence (AI)-based speech recognition processing, according to Cadence. This version of the HiFi DSP offers two times audio processing and four time neural network (NN) processing improvements compared with the earlier HiFi 4 DSP. The device can be used for voice-controlled user interfaces in digital home assistants and automotive infotainment.

Advanced DSP algorithms are rapidly evolving to eliminate noise and isolate the speakers’ voice for increased understanding, requiring higher processing capabilities and improved energy efficiency. At the same time, NN-based speech recognition algorithms are performing more tasks locally, rather than in the cloud, due to concerns of latency, privacy and network availability.

The DSP includes five very long instruction word (VLIW)-slot architecture capable of issuing two 128-bit loads per cycle. There is also twice the MAC capability of the HiFi 4 DSP for pre- and post-processing, including support for eight 32 x 32-bit or 16 16 x 16-bit MACs per cycle, optional eight single-precision floating-point MACs per cycle, four times MAC capability, compared with the HiFi 4 DSP, for NN processing.

The HiFi NN library offers an optimised set of library functions commonly used in NN processing (especially speech). These library functions can easily be integrated into popular machine learning frameworks.

The DSP also has software compatibility with the complete HiFi product line totalling over 300 HiFi-optimised audio and voice codecs and audio enhancement software packages.

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