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April 28, 2008

Octasic's Vocallo Multi-Core Media Gateway DSP Leading with Innovation

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor


Octasic's Vocallo Multi-Core Media Gateway (News - Alert) DSP solution has been getting a lot of attention in the -core processor for voice, video and data over IP space of late, culminating with EN – Genius Network naming it the 2007 Product of the Year Award for Most Innovative DSP Product, the multiore processor  market.

The multi-core processor for voice, video and data over IP enables a new business model and offers optimal pricing flexibility for media gateways in enterprise and converged fixed-mobile carrier networks, according to the company.

In fact, Lee Goldberg, senior technical editor at EN-Genius, said the new chip puts the Montreal-based firm in “rarified company” as only a handful of chips in the world could compare to it.

“The asynchronous logic technology used in the Octasic (News - Alert) Vocallo processing chip gives it high levels of channel density and low power-per-channel,” he said recently. “This and an easy-to-use development suite could make it a disrupting factor in the voice processing market.”

Among the specific features, capacity and I/Os are designed to meet user specifications, with the ability to add software in the Vocallo framework to set products apart with unique features.

The chip is designed to create a wide range of cost-effective products from a single design by scaling both features and capacity through licensing. This scalability can also be extended to products in the field allowing a Pay as You Grow potential for end-users of the equipment, according to the company.

Frederic Bourget (News - Alert), Octasic's director of product management, noted that the recent recognition “reinforces the industry's need for innovative, cost-effective DSP options.”

Vocallo offers a complete media gateway software package that includes packet-based wideband voice and video processing. All of this is delivered in a 15 core, ultra low power DSP, based on Octasic's Opus core architecture.

Built for emerging network architectures and communication equipment, Vocallo gives designers complete control. From feature selection to customer-programmability, every Vocallo device gives designers carte blanche to create the exact solution they need today within budget – plus the ability to upgrade at a future date.

Vocallo also offers a complete suite of features and its focus on reduced power; flexible interfaces and unmatched channel capacity make it the industry leader.

Vocallo Video

Vocallo offers capabilities such as real-time video transcoding, transrating and conferencing and supports applications such as 3G-324M, video phones, video-conferencing and video-enabled services, the company said.

Programming Vocallo

Vocallo's modular, packet-based software architecture allows designers to write their own software to extend or replace the software provided by Octasic. The Opus platform, on which Vocallo is built, comes with a full IDE that includes a standard C compiler, a visual editing environment, a profiler and a debugger tailored for multi-core DSPs. The Opus kernel ensures scheduling of modules in a protected-memory and intellectual property secure environment for blending of Octasic and user modules.

Voice Quality

Vocallo is designed for wideband from the ground up. In addition to supporting voice codecs like G.722 and AMR-WB, all other required features are available for wideband such as conferencing, tone detection and a wideband-enabled TDM bus, according to the company.

In addition, Vocallo is designed to process media connections with minimum latency. Its packet-based software architecture avoids flow-pinning and fixed scheduling. Media channels are flexibly scheduled, adapting to network packet delay distributions. This reduces the required scheduling delay by orders of magnitude for both packet-to-packet and packet-to-TDM flows, the company said.

Vocallo Video

Vocallo supports applications such as 3G-324M, video phones, video-conferencing and video-enabled services with capabilities such as real-time video transcoding, video transrating and conferencing. Vocallo's media API integrates H.263, MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs and several real-time video processing functions. Access to uncompressed native YUV video bitmaps enables developers to integrate their own video processing algorithms along with Vocallo's software.

Vocallo video codecs have been designed to address the unique challenges to deliver video on error-prone and bandwidth-constrained wireless networks. All codecs include error resilience and concealment techniques to minimize the effects of packet loss. The bit rate controller uses an advanced Variable Bit Rate (VBR) mode, which optimizes the trade-off between quality and bit rate allowing more channels to be carried on a given link, according to the company.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.

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