CAST Enters Graphics Acceleration IP Market with New Cores that Complement GPUs and System Processors

Woodcliff Lake, NJ, November 05, 2013 ---- Semiconductor intellectual property provider CAST, Inc. is answering systems designers’ needs for faster graphics processing with the first of a new series of IP cores for graphics acceleration and display.

Available immediately are a 2D/2.5D Graphics Accelerator and a Multilayer Display Controller, both sourced from new technology partner Think Silicon.

The  Think2.5D Core is a rendering engine that accelerates a rich family of two-dimensional graphics functions (scaling, blending, drawing, and more) and pseudo-three-dimensional effects for graphical user interface (GUI) elements such as shadowed icons. The  ThinkLCD-ML Core is a sophisticated display processor that composes multi-layer graphics with alpha blending—such as video overlay—and supports all popular display connection interfaces.

The new cores give designers class-rivaling features with highly-competitive performance, silicon area, and power consumption characteristics. They are suitable for a wide range of products with simple displays or complex user interfaces, from Internet of Things devices and smart appliances through automotive control and entertainment systems to the GUI systems on 4K televisions. The Think2.5D uses just 65K gates, the ThinkLCD-ML just 15K (both in a TSMC 65nm technology). Both cores are silicon-proven, and are available with cost-effective, royalty-free licensing.

“Most system designers using our processors and video/image compression IP also need faster, more efficient graphics processing and the ability to offload—or even replace—larger processors in products with visual displays,” said Nikos Zervas, CAST’s chief operating officer. “We’re excited to deliver some of the very best graphics solutions available through this new partnership with the experts at Think Silicon, and we look forward to upcoming new IP cores plus subsystems and platforms that further satisfy the graphics processing challenge for a wide range of products.”

The new Graphics Accelerator and Display Processor cores can offload a graphics processing unit or host processor, and are designed for easy system integration and development. The Think2.5D core supports the de facto industry-standard DirectFB API, enabling higher-level software programming using popular frameworks Qt™ and GTK+. The ThinkLCD-ML features programmable options for resolution (from VGA to 8K), the numbers of layers and size of the color palette for each, and other composition factors. Both cores accept all widely-used RGB and YUV input formats, and use standard AMBA® bus interfaces.

“Smart design, adherence to standards, and rigorous testing lets us incorporate state-of-the-art graphics technologies in robust and easy-to-use IP that’s more fast, compact, and low-energy than anything else available,” said George Sidiropoulos, managing director of Think Silicon. “Customers have found our products to be uniquely effective, and everyone here is enthusiastic about getting our solutions to even more designers through the great team at CAST.”

The new graphic accelerator and display controller cores are available now for ASICs (RTL) or FPGAs (netlists), along with complete reference designs and evaluation kits. Visit the CAST site ( www.cast-inc.com) or call (+1 201.391.8300) to learn more.

Think Silicon Ltd. designs computer graphics and multimedia IP cores and delivers complete hardware/software solutions around them, especially for the mobile and embedded system markets. The company was founded in 2007, is based in Patras, Greece, and counts as customers both fabless and physical semiconductor manufacturers. Learn more at  www.think-silicon.com.

CAST, Inc. is a 20-year-old developer, integrator, and aggregator of IP cores and subsystems. The company’s royalty-free product line features 32- bit BA2x™ processors, 8051 microcontrollers, video and image compression, graphics processors, encryption, interconnects and interfaces, peripheral controllers, and more. See  www.cast-inc.com for product details.




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