Mobile devices are evolving at an ever increasing rate. Two years from now, handsets, tablets and other mobile devices will have new functionality and applications which cannot even be envisaged today. Given this rapid rate of change, how can OEMs stay on the leading edge and continue to offer their consumers the best experience available? ASICs take too long to develop and are unable to be significantly upgraded after deployment. SoCs also take a while to be brought to market and offer very limited ability to differentiate from other companies using the same SoC. The answer is to use a fully software-defined chipset and differentiate with proprietary software and IP that can be modified and upgraded all the way to deployment and beyond.
Our goal is to virtualize signal processing so that complex signal processing functions, such as algorithms for low light photography or direct mode for an LTE handset, become applications in much the same way that Android or iOS applications run today. As such, they are C-based programs that control and implement wireless, image and video signal processing, as well as sensor processing (i.e., accelerometers, gyroscope, etc.) and augmented reality algorithms. In order to make this possible, you need a low power signal processor that can process any type of signal in software, as well as an easy design methodology and corresponding tools so that developers can readily develop such signal processing applications. Of course, even the best software-based solution will be slightly higher power than a hardware-based or hardware accelerator solution for any given application, so the key is the ability to dynamically swap applications so that the processors can be time-shared. This can result in a lower power solution because all the possible applications will never be run at the same time, but in a hardware-based solution, you need to have all the applications in hardware, whereas with a software-based solution, you download the applications just as they are needed. While our current 3100 processor is targeting infrastructure and pluggable systems, our next generation HyperX processor at 28nm will meet the power profile of a handset while remaining completely software programmable. To learn how this is possible, please contact us for more information.