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TI announced the new C6A8168 processor today, as well as the EZ SDK Software environment we're providing to help developers use it.  Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?  :P

While that's great news, I've been approached a few times today with some concerned and confused looks, and since there's not yet much info in the release notes or wiki on it (yet!), I thought it'd be worth doing a quick SW overview from a Codec Engine and Friends POV.

Here's a screen grab from the EZ SDK Features section:

See those highlighted 7 characters?  MFP 3.21?  That's the same Codec Engine and Friends you know (and love, right?).  For those that don't know, MFP is an internal name for "Codec Engine and Friends" that's been leaking out lately.  It stands for Multimedia Framework Products.  We've added some cool new features (BIOS 6 support, homogenous multicore support, and an improved logging infrastructure are notable), but the core remains the same.  While our config scripts may need a change here and there, I'm proud to say we're API compatible with previous generations of products.

So why isn't CE and Friends more prevalently mentioned?  Good question!  Unfortunately (or fortunately?!?), the marketing folks didn't ask my opinion, but at least I've got this blog!  ;)  Maybe they wanted to draw attention to the new, higher-level C6EZAccel and C6EZRun products.  I am a fan of C6EZAccel as it builds on Codec Engine's IUNIVERSAL support (we told you it was universal!), and brings the APIs of those great DSP libraries to ARM developers.  I'm personally not as big a fan of C6EZRun; while it's cute and has some interesting deployment ideas, in its current state I'm not sure it's appropriate for more than prototyping - which I guess does have some merit.  Unfortunately C6EZRun doesn't play well with other apps, and I frankly don't know how the performance of its architecture is, so to move from prototyping to production is probably a higher bar than I'd like... but those things may be addressed in the future, so who knows.

Where We're At

The version of MFP included in the EZ SDK is an Early Adopter (EA), so it's not ready for shipping products just yet, but we're planning to make a Generally Available (GA), production quality release available in early 2011.  The MFP 3.21 EA in the EZ SDK includes Codec Engine, Framework Components, Linux Utils and XDAIS.  It builds on the next generation of DSP Link, renamed SysLink.  More details I'm sure to come on that, but the SysLink product was rebuilt from the ground up.  It still has some old baggage (like we all do), but it does incorporate a lot of good feedback gathered over the years, as well as fold in some nice features that we've developed in related products (e.g. DSP Bridge).

I hope that helps clear up some of the fog around this EZ SDK.  Rest assured, Codec Engine and Friends are still in this next generation of SDKs.  And if you've got C6000 algorithms already developed, you've already got a head start on the new (and extremely powerful!) C6A816x devices.  (Standard caveats apply - if your algs are using DM6467-specific accelerators, or have hard-coded addresses built into them, you'll likely have more work to do.)

If you've got hardware questions, you can ask them on the new forums.  And if you want to know my non-marketing opinion about something in particular, ask below in the comments and I'll do my best.  Now go order an EVM!