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Cadence Expands Tensilica IP Portfolio with New HiFi and Vision DSPs for Pervasive Intelligence and Edge AI Inference

AI enhancements and Tensilica Xtensa LX8 platform capabilities deliver significant performance improvements with industry-best energy efficiency

Cadence Design Systems, Inc.(Nasdaq: CDNS) today expanded its industry-leading Tensilica® HiFi and Vision DSP families with the introduction of four new DSPs based on the recently announced Tensilica Xtensa® LX8 processor platform. The new HiFi and Vision DSPs address increasing system-level performance and AI requirements for an expanded range of applications—delivering enhanced performance across multiple algorithms with even greater energy efficiency. The expanded portfolio includes the Cadence® Tensilica HiFi 1s DSP and HiFi 5s DSP for audio/voice, lightweight imaging and AI applications and the Tensilica Vision 110 DSP and Vision 130 DSP for image sensor, camera, radar and lidar applications.

“With lengthy SoC design cycles and rapidly changing AI algorithms, our SoC customers require the utmost flexibility. On-device and edge AI systems feature numerous diverse sensors, so any AI inference solution must be adaptable to the end application requirements,” said David Glasco, vice president of research and development for Tensilica IP at Cadence. “Designing with a system-level perspective is crucial, and these SoCs must be energy-efficient, flexible and future proof to accommodate new neural networks. Cadence continues to make significant investments in our Tensilica product line, and our latest HiFi and Vision DSPs reflect that commitment.”

Xtensa LX8 Platform and Common Benefits

The new HiFi and Vision DSPs benefit from the inherent advantages of the Xtensa LX8 platform, including native AMBA® AXI support for lower latency and L2 cache for increased system performance. Branch prediction enables a 5% to 20% reduction in cycles for both the HiFi and Vision DSPs. Supported by Cadence’s new NeuroWeave Software Development Kit (SDK), the DSPs can be paired with the Cadence Neo Neural Processing Units (NPUs) to offload AI inference workloads.

HiFi 1s and HiFi 5s DSPs

The new Tensilica HiFi DSPs add more capabilities for lightweight imaging and AI to meet market demands—enabling them to serve as additional compute resources beyond just audio, either as a standalone solution or complementing the Vision DSPs and Neo NPUs. Individually and collectively, the following features significantly improve out-of-box performance—dramatically reducing time to market (TTM) for OEMs and software developers:

  • Double-precision floating-point acceleration provides up to 30X better out-of-box performance of popular codecs, enabling easier handling for computation requiring expanded dynamic range and precision
  • Hardware/software co-design enhances auto-vectorization, greatly reducing the need for hand-optimized code and providing source code compatibility across HiFi DSPs
  • New 8-bit operations in the HiFi 1s DSP boost imaging and AI performance by up to 2X at the kernel level, compared to the HiFi 1 DSP
  • L2 cache increases system performance by up to 50%

More details on the new HiFi DSPs can be found at and

Vision 110 and 130 DSPs

The 128-bit Tensilica Vision 110 DSP and 512-bit Vision 130 DSP offer numerous performance improvements to address growing sensor and AI workloads, offloading from the CPU or GPU while providing industry-best energy efficiency. Both DSPs deliver AI performance enhancements that enable up to 3X improvement for certain AI workloads and up to 5X improvement on specific kernels. Additional benefits include:

  • Up to 20 percent higher frequency and up to 2X improvement for 16-bit, 32-bit and 64-bit floating-point performance
  • Better system performance through iDMA enhancements previously available only on the flagship high-performance Vision DSPs
  • Up to 3X improvements in fast Fourier transform (FFT) for radar applications
  • Reduction in code memory footprint due to code size improvement
  • Common SIMD and VLIW architecture and instruction set with Vision DSP predecessors ensure easy software migration

More details on the new Vision DSPs can be found at and

Supporting Quotes:

“Hailo is developing powerful AI-centric vision processors serving the growing edge AI market. ln our recently announced Hailo-15 device targeting the IP camera market, we've chosen to integrate Cadence’s Tensilica DSP among the computational subsystems complementary to our proprietary neural engine,” said Guy Kaminitz, VP VLSI at Hailo. “Cadence’s Tensilica DSPs offer the performance and energy efficiency as well as the flexibility required for such heterogeneous devices.”

“Kneron continues to develop market-leading SoCs for numerous on-device and edge AI applications, and selecting an efficient processor to complement our high-performance NPU is crucial,” said Albert Liu, CEO of Kneron. “We continue to use Cadence Tensilica Vision DSPs, which provide the computational throughput and flexibility needed to keep up with today’s complex AI workload requirements. Additionally, Tensilica's extensive framework of software libraries and strong partner ecosystem enable rapid deployment for fast time to market.”


Tensilica HiFi and Vision DSPs support Cadence’s Intelligent System Design strategy, enabling SoC design excellence. The HiFi 3z DSP, HiFi 4 DSP, ConnX 110 DSP, ConnX 120 DSP, MathX 110 DSP and MathX 130 DSP have also been upgraded to the Xtensa LX8 platform.

The Vision 110 DSP and Vision 130 DSP, as well as the upgraded ConnX 110 DSP, ConnX 120 DSP, MathX 110 DSP and MathX 130 DSP, are available now. The new HiFi DSPs are expected to be in general availability in December 2023.

About Cadence

Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic design, building upon more than 30 years of computational software expertise. The company applies its underlying Intelligent System Design strategy to deliver software, hardware and IP that turn design concepts into reality. Cadence customers are the world’s most innovative companies, delivering extraordinary electronic products from chips to boards to systems for the most dynamic market applications, including consumer, hyperscale computing, 5G communications, automotive, mobile, aerospace, industrial and healthcare. For nine years in a row, Fortune magazine has named Cadence one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Learn more at

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Category: Featured


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