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Processor core for Epson Realoid printer engine chip
Ralf Jurrien : February 2nd 2007 - 22:50 CET
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EpsonProcessor core for Epson Realoid printer engine chip : Tensilica, announced that Seiko Epson had closed a long-term, multi-year license of Tensilica’s Xtensa family of configurable processor cores for Epson’s new Realoid printer engine chip. The first generation Realoid chip is used in Epson’s photo-capable inkjet printers and multi-function printers, including the newly announced Colorio PM series MFPs. The Epson Stylus Photo R380 Ultra High-Definition Realoid-based printer is available in the US. The relationship also includes next-generation Realoid designs. Epson’s engineers added Tensilica Instruction Extensions to customize several different Xtensa LX processors, each for a unique step in the inkjet image processing chain.
Processor core for Epson Realoid printer engine chipTensilica Xtensa LX processor
By utilizing unique features of the Xtensa LX processor which allow direct high-speed data communication between the processors and thereby avoid the time delays of bus-based data traffic, Epson’s engineers were able to reduce the time required to print a single page to less than a third of that required by previous generation inkjet printers. These new printers can print borderless 4 x 6 photos as fast as the highest printing speed for black and white text.

Epson Realoid printer engine chip - Xtensa LX processor
“By optimizing each Xtensa LX processor for a specific embedded imaging function, we achieved performance vastly exceeding that of standard processor cores, allowing us to use processors directly in our image processing data path,” stated Katsuhiko Nishizawa, General Manager of the IJP Design Department of Epson’s Imaging Products Operations Division. “By using pre-verified Xtensa processors instead of traditional RTL methods of implementing the image processing datapath, we completed the design of the Realoid chip with less than half the development costs of previous chips. And because these processors are programmable, this Realoid chip will be valuable for future products and applications.”

Epson Realoid printer engine chip
“The Realoid chip provides a great example of the tremendous advantage of both our direct queue interfaces to stream data between processors and the power of TIE to create application-specific processors with RTL-like performance characteristics, allowing our processors to be used in SOC designs to provide greater flexibility at RTL-equivalent speeds,” stated Chris Rowen, Tensilica’s President and CEO. Epson announced that future “Realoid” designs will utilize significant numbers of Xtensa LX and future cores not only for the printer’s imaging engine but also for other very rich multimedia features such as networking, security, DTV connection and printing.

About Epson
Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency. Epson is a network of 102,025 employees in 120 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located.

About Tensilica
Tensilica offers the broadest line of controller, CPU and specialty DSP processors on the market today, in both an off-the-shelf format via the Diamond Standard Series cores and with full designer configurability with the Xtensa processor family. Tensilica’s low-power, benchmark proven processors have been designed into high-volume products at industry leaders in the digital consumer, networking and telecommunications markets. All Tensilica processor cores are complete with a matching software development tool environment, portfolio of system simulation models, and hardware implementation tool support.

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