VOP engine knocks out general DSPs
The MECA (Malleable embedded communications accelerator) line of integrated voice-over-packet (VoP) processors from Malleable Technologies supports the functions for processing speech and converting voice from line interfaces to asynchronous-transfer-mode cells or Internet Protocol packets (Picture). The device supports as many as 96 channels of G.729A or 512 channels of G.711 using an 8-msec echo-cancellation tail. The processors also come with telephony and packet-processing application firmware, EasyStream application-programming interface and drivers, and a Compact PCI Polyphony evaluation kit.
The programmable, single-chip MECA processors enable in-system protocol and function upgrades. Each processor integrates four Malleable datapath (MDP) cores, and each core can perform four 16×16 multiplies, four accumulates, four 16-bit ALU operations, four 32-bit register operations, four address-generator-update operations, four 16-bit reconfigurable-logic operations, and a single branch. The logic functional unit, supporting reconfigurable-logic operations, allows you to implement in hardware the logic-intensive algorithms that firmware defines. The unit is reconfigurable to create application-specific instructions on a per-cycle basis and is instruction-driven. Using the EasyStream application-programming interface, a host CPU can set soft interrupts over the PCI bus at thresholds and exceptional conditions, such as when the device drops to 85% capacity and wants to request more data to process.
Speech-processing functions include support for G.711, G.726, G.729A, and G.723.1 speech codecs; 0- to 65-msec echo cancellation; dual-tone multiple-frequency tone detection and generation; fax and modem handling; and silence suppression and automatic gain control. Packetization includes ATM adaptation-layer segmentation-and-reassembly functions for voice over ATM and Real Time Protocol/User Daagram Protocol/Internet Protocol header formatting for VoP. The devices also include glueless support for standard PCM interfaces, such as T1/E1/J1 framers/line-interface units, the H.110/H-Multi-Vendor Integration Protocol telephony bus, and Utopia.
The MECA line comprises the MECA-4A for voice over ATM and the MECA-4I for VoIP. Each family also has three members offering different speech-coder options. Prices for the MECA-4A family range from $239 to $289 (1000), and prices for the MECA-4I range from $279 to $329, depending upon the firmware version you choose. The devices come in a 316-bump PBGA package and consume 2W in typical applications. Samples are available now.
Malleable Technologies, www.malleable.com.
—by Nicholas Cravotta