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New Tensilica Fusion DSP Sets Low-Energy Benchmarks for IoT, Wearables and Wireless Connectivity

Flexible and scalable DSP is ideal for applications requiring ultra-low power in a small footprint

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 22, 2015—Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced the new Cadence® Tensilica® Fusion digital signal processor (DSP) based on the proven Xtensa® Customizable Processor. This scalable DSP is ideal for applications requiring merged controller plus DSP computation, ultra-low energy and a small footprint. It can be designed into systems on chip (SoCs) for wearable activity monitoring, indoor navigation, context-aware sensor fusion, secure local wireless connectivity, face trigger, voice trigger and voice recognition. Optional Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) extensions are included to accelerate multiple wireless protocols including Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread and Zigbee using IEEE 802.15.4, SmartGrid 802.15.4g, Wi-Fi 802.11n and 802.11ah, 2G and LTE Category 0 release 12 and 13, and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

The Tensilica Fusion DSP sets a new ultra-low-power benchmark using 25 percent less energy, based on running a power diagnostic derived from the Sensory Truly Handsfree™ always-on algorithm, when compared to the current low-power Cadence Tensilica HiFi Mini DSP.

For more information, visit http://www.cadence.com/news/TensilicaFusionDSP.

The Tensilica Fusion DSP combines an enhanced 32-bit Xtensa control processor with market-leading base DSP features and flexible algorithm-specific acceleration for a fully programmable approach, supporting multiple existing and developing standards and customer algorithms. Many IoT applications are space- and energy-constrained, but still require advanced sensor processing, wireless communications and control. IoT device designers can configure just the options they need using the Xtensa Processor Generator to create an optimized Tensilica Fusion processor. Tensilica Fusion DSP configurable elements include: 

  • Tightly integrated floating point
  • 1-4 MACs supporting real and complex operations
  • AES-128 encryption
  • Flexible memory architecture
  • MAC and PHY algorithm acceleration
  • Audio/voice compatibility with the Tensilica HiFi architecture

The Tensilica Fusion DSP combines flexible hardware choices with a library of DSP functions and more than 150 audio/voice/fusion applications from over 70 partners. It also shares the Tensilica partner ecosystem for other applications software, emulation and probes, silicon and services, and much more. The Tensilica Xtensa architecture is the second most popular licensable processor architecture, shipping at a rate of over 2B cores per year in products spanning sensors to supercomputers.

About Cadence

Cadence enables global electronic design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today’s integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence software, hardware, IP and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centers and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry. More information about the company, its products and its services is available at http://www.cadence.com.

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© 2015 Cadence Design Systems, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Cadence, Tensilica, Xtensa and the Cadence logo are registered trademarks of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are those of their respective holders.


“As we were designing Tensilica Fusion DSP, we saw that our customer requirements varied greatly,” stated Martin Lund, senior vice president of the IP Group at Cadence. “We took those requirements into consideration while designing this DSP to extend beyond anything in the market today. The Xtensa Customizable Processor allows customers to further optimize the processor to create distinctive, highly efficient processors and DSPs that will help set them ahead of their competition.”

“We see strong growth opportunities ahead in the applications targeted by the new Tensilica Fusion DSP,” stated Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. “The fact that the Tensilica Fusion DSP can do both DSP and control is a really strong point, allowing a stand-alone capability, often without the need of an associated application processor. Because the Fusion DSP is highly customizable, designers can design it into many different high-volume chips supporting a great number of end products.”

“Sensory’s TrulyHandsFree solution is ideal for real-world noisy environments where voice activation provides a secure and superior user experience,” stated Bernard Brafman, vice president of business development at Sensory. “By taking full advantage of the architectural features in the new Fusion DSP, we were able to optimize our software to achieve further power reduction for functions such as trigger to search, user-defined triggers, and speaker verification and identification.”

“We ported our software to the Tensilica Fusion DSP and demonstrated it at this year’s Mobile World Congress,” said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing at Hillcrest Labs. “The Fusion DSP provides an excellent foundation for ultra-low-power sensor hubs. Our partnership with Cadence provides a great benefit for our customers looking to design devices with outstanding user experience and optimal battery performance.”