Synopsys Releases Bluetooth LE Audio Codec for Power-Sensitive Audio and Voice Applications

Synopsys has released a Bluetooth LE Audio LC3 Codec optimized for Synopsys' DesignWare ARC EM DSP and HS DSP processor IP, enabling system-on-chip (SoC) designers to implement high-quality voice and audio streaming in a wide range of applications, including mobile, wearables, and home automation.

The LC3 codec for ARC processors is based on an implementation by Fraunhofer IIS that is designed to meet Bluetooth SIG requirements. The new LC3 codec, running on ARC EM and HS DSP processors, allows designers to rapidly integrate a complete, pre-verified hardware and software solution for voice and speech processing into Bluetooth-enabled devices requiring minimal energy consumption.

"The rapid growth of wearable devices requiring high-quality Bluetooth audio streaming is driving the need for power-efficient processor IP with DSP capabilities that can meet intensive computation requirements of voice and audio applications. Those applications require an optimized codec providing state-of-the art voice and audio quality at minimum computational complexity. The LC3 codec is designed exactly like that," said Manfred Lutzky, head of audio for communications at Fraunhofer IIS, in a statement. "By porting the LC3 codec to the DSP-enhanced ARC processors, Synopsys is enabling customers to quickly implement LC3 codec functionality in their low-power SoCs. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Synopsys so that the LC3 codec for ARC processors continues to incorporate the latest updates."

"The fact that the LC3 codec can provide very high-quality audio even at low bit rates makes it a key feature of the upcoming LE Audio standard," said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), in a statement. "We are pleased to see member companies working on implementations of the LC3 codec optimized for various processor architectures."

The 32-bit DesignWare ARC EM and HS DSP processors are based on the scalable ARCv2DSP Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and integrate RISC and DSP capabilities for a flexible processing architecture. The ARC EM DSP processors offer ultra-low power and performance efficiency while the multi-core-capable ARC HS DSP processors provide a high-performance control and high-efficiency digital signal processing. All ARC processors are supported by the ARC MetaWare Development Toolkit, which includes a rich library of DSP functions to allow software engineers to implement algorithms from standard DSP building blocks. In addition, ARC processors and the LC3 codec can be combined with Synopsys' Bluetooth 5.1-compliant DesignWare Bluetooth Low Energy IP to deliver wireless audio capability for smart IoT and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

"Optimizing the LC3 codec for DesignWare ARC Processors demonstrates Synopsys' continued investment in providing customers with a robust portfolio of audio codecs for a wide range of SoC designs," said John Koeter, senior vice president of marketing for IP at Synopsys, in a statement. "Designed to process high-quality audio streams and deliver superior sound, the LC3 codec for ARC processors provides designers with a certified codec that reduces the integration time and testing required to deliver superior quality audio for Bluetooth streaming applications."

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