ARC International Introduces ARCsound: Licensable Digital Audio Subsystem

SAN JOSE, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Sept. 27, 2004— ARC International (LSE:ARK), the world leader in configurable CPU/DSP processor cores and application platforms, today announced the availability of the ARCsound(TM) audio subsystem, a preconfigured, licensable audio platform for use in high volume SOC designs. The ARCsound subsystem includes state-of-the-art audio codec software, a pre-configured ARC processor with custom audio extensions and a full suite of hardware and software development tools.

The ARCsound subsystem is designed to meet the demanding price and performance requirements of high volume, cost-sensitive audio applications. ARCsound requires only 75,000 gates in a typical configuration. This is up to 30% smaller than comparable CPU cores, making ARCsound one of the smallest audio solutions available. In addition to reduced die size, ARCsound also operates at a lower clock speed when compared to other solutions, resulting in lower power requirements. ARCsound consumes up to 55% less system power, which results in longer battery life for portable devices.

"ARC's configurable cores are an excellent foundation for application-specific subsystems," said Derek Meyer, ARC VP Marketing. "With ARCsound, we've leveraged this configurability and combined it with optimized audio codec software to deliver a small, power efficient audio subsystem. The result is lower overall silicon cost, better power efficiency and faster development time -- all critical items for tomorrow's digital media product developers."

A critical factor in reducing the overall system size and power is the ARCsound subsystem's DSP-style memory architecture. Both the instruction and data memory organization have been tuned to handle the bandwidth requirements of typical audio signal processing functions. However, ARC's configurable memory approach also allows for adjusting memory sizes to easily incorporate additional tasks. ARCsound further reduces SOC cost through its best-in-class program and table size.

Codec Support

The ARCsound subsystem's optimized audio software suite supports:

-- MPEG 1,2 Layer I, II, III (MP3) Decode

-- MPEG 1,2 Layer I, II, III (MP3) Encode

-- MPEG-2/4 AAC LC Decode

-- MPEG-2/4 AAC LC Encode

-- WMA 9.0 Decode

-- Dolby(TM) Digital AC-3 Decode

-- Dolby(TM) Digital AC-3 Consumer Encode

High Quality Audio

While low silicon cost is a key requirement for high volume applications, the ARCsound subsystem doesn't sacrifice audio quality. ARCsound uses a 32-bit datapath and 32-bit arithmetic processing to better preserve audio fidelity compared to 16-bit implementations. In order to ensure audio quality is maintained after integrating the subsystem into an SOC, ARCsound has undergone intensive verification at both the hardware and software level. Furthermore, an ARCsound sample implementation is also available and provides an example of integrating the ARCsound subsystem with ARC's MQX(TM) RTOS and ARC peripherals.

For more technical information including a list of deliverables and competitive performance data, visit

Pricing and Availability

The ARCsound subsystem is available today. For information about licensing, contact ARC at +1-408-437-3400.

About ARC

ARC International is the world leader in low-power, high-performance 32-bit RISC CPU/DSP configurable processor cores, real-time operating systems and development tools for embedded system design. ARC's configurable and extendible cores assist customers in the development of next generation digital media, consumer and communications devices, resulting in lower cost, higher performance System-on-Chip products.

ARC International maintains a worldwide presence with corporate offices in San Jose, California, USA, and Elstree, UK. The Company has research and development offices located in England and the United States. For more information, please visit the ARC website at: ARC International is listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARC International plc (LSE:ARK).

This press release may include "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ are discussed in the 'Investment Considerations' section of the Company's web site as well as the listing particulars, dated 28 September 2000, filed with the United Kingdom Listing Authority and the Registrar of Companies in England and Wales. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

ARC, the ARC logo, ARCtangent, ARCangel, ARChitect, ARCform, ARCsound, MQX and MetaWare are trademarks of ARC International. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.

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