Streaming video

Our friends at Stream Processors just announced their new DSP architecture at ISSCC this week. Good luck to them. (SPI was started by my old boss, Stanford Professor Bill Dally).

They claim their processor can perform an order of magnitude better than conventional DSPs.  According to SPI, one of their chips can encode H.264 video at 1080p in real-time.

SPI has been sampling the initial Storm-1 product family members since late 2006, and executives say the startup has been engaged with a customer for nearly a year. The devices target such high-performance signal-processing applications as video and image processing. They are the eight-lane SP8-G80, which can execute 80 giga-operations per second, and the 16-lane SP16-G160, which can execute 160 Gops, SPI said. The devices are said to deliver a more than tenfold cost/performance advantage over conventional DSPs.

The executives said the SPI architecture does not include hardware caches, which can dominate the silicon area of traditional DSPs. Instead, an SPI device relies on lane register files to store I/O streams for each of its multiple lanes. Maintaining data locality enables the architecture to maximize both efficiency and bandwidth.

SPI SP16-G160