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<p>The two companies were selected for phase III of the High Productivity Computing Systems program (HPCS) managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). Cray will receive $250 million and IBM $244 million to develop prototype systems by 2010.</p>

The current standard atomic clock is based on microwave frequency carriers. It is one of four candidates to be the next-generation atomic clock. Each candidate operates at optical frequencies in order to raise the clock-time base from the gigahertz to terahertz range. The final candidate will be chosen by the Consultative Committee for Time and Frequency at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM, Paris).

Austin, Tex.&#8212Integrating a stereo analog-to-digital converter, sample-rate converter, digital audio processor and a 30-watt Class D amplifier that includes a PWM controller and power stage, Cirrus Logic touts its CS4525 as an innovative Class D audio IC that greatly simplifies system design for the global flat-panel digital television market.

Because of its high level of integration, the CS4525 gives flat-panel DTV manufacturers a superior design solution for managing the audio signal chain, providing a wealth of features and exceptional audio output and quality in a simple-to-use integrated circuit,” said Jason Rhode, vice president and general manager for the Mixed-Signal Audio Division.

RNCF2512BKE196R_Datasheet PDF

The chip, which the company calls a digital TV amplifier,” is apart from the more recent Class-D product entries (see Related Stories) that, in the main, serve basic low-power analog consumer and car audio applications. An ADC is integrated to support stereo analog audio sources in addition to standard PCM digital audio inputs. The CS4525 delivers up to 15 watts per channel into 8-ohm speakers. Thus it's among the more powerful entries for recent Class-D products for mid-power applications. In all other respects, its audio capabilities are on a par with top of the line devices for dynamic range, low distortion at both low and elevated power levels, and implementing suitable PWM modulator technology to eliminate radiated emissions (EMI).

The CS4525 uses a 24-bit delta sigma architecture to secure its 100 dB dynamic range. The chip's built-in sample-rate converter manages a variety of incoming audio signals for various applications (e.g., PCM stereo, audio from DVD, etc.) while also eliminating the effects of clock-jitter. The chip's spread-spectrum PWM modulator serves to reduce EMI.

RNCF2512BKE196R_Datasheet PDF

The CS4525's on-board digital audio processor facilitates speaker tuning,” i.e., parametric equalization, auxiliary output for lip-sync delay, and bass management. In addition to its typical full-bridge stereo configurations that provides 15 watts per channel output, the IC can support so-called 2.1-channel configurations (2-by-7.5 watts per channel into 4-ohms half-bridge plus 1-by-15 watts into 8-ohms full bridge) as well a low-frequency effects” configuration (1-by-30 watts into 4 ohms, parallel full-bridge). Its power stage eliminates the need for a heat sink (additionally, the company makes available to OEMs a companion chip, the CS4412, a power-stage only IC). With special attention to power management that's especially important in slim, flat-panel TVs, the chip also incorporates proprietary thermal warning and foldback circuitry, which scales back output levels if the chip temperature rises excessively.

Click here for the product datasheet.The CS4525, in a 48-pin QFN package, is priced at $2.81 each in quantities of 10,000.

RNCF2512BKE196R_Datasheet PDF

Cirrus Logic , 1-800-888-5016,www.cirrus.com

Andover, Mass.&#8212Vicor's 28-VDC MIL-COTS VIPAC family of power systems is a new class of user-defined, modular power solutions for military applications, including radar, ground vehicle, communications, and aerospace equipment.

To that end, Mentor and Mercury announced last week that they will roll out the first Cell BE processor-based acceleration platform for the EDA market. It's a different direction for an EDA industry that thus far, except for simulation accelerators and emulators, has relied on software that runs on general-purpose CPUs and servers.

And it may be the right place to try a new approach. OPC, which foundries and mask shops run on every IC after tapeout, is perhaps the most computationally intensive part of the design-to-manufacturing process.

Rather than build specialized hardware strictly for OPC, however, the two companies worked together so that Mentor's new Calibre nmOPC offering, also introduced last week, can leverage Mercury's Dual Cell-Based Blade.

Mark Skalabrin, vice president and general manager of Mercury's advanced solutions business unit, said teams from Mentor and Mercury had looked at a number of possible ways to speed OPC computations, including FPGAs, DSPs and general-purpose processors. The Cell emerged as the best choice, Skalabrin said. There's a very significant gain. Some algorithms are 50 to 100 times faster.”

General-purpose computing clusters, said Skalabrin, are just becoming unmanageable” and are consuming too much power. There is a real need for specialized computing,” he said.

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Nevertheless, India's well developed software and intellectual-property infrastructure is luring semiconductor suppliers in droves. Companies like AMD, Broadcom, Intel and Texas Instruments are laying out billions of dollars to establish advanced research and development and chip-design centers.

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