Blackfin® Processor Powers Indyme Connect-LX Retail Store Communications Platform : Connect-LX design leverages Blackfin processor performance to build an integrated communications hub connecting retail store systems

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Today Analog Devices, Inc. announced the adoption of the Blackfin embedded processor in the new Indyme Solutions (San Diego CA) Connect-LX in-store communications and event processing appliance. This integrated hardware platform controls communications data streams in retail environments connecting store customers and associates, POS and price scanners and security and loss prevention monitors. Indyme is using the convergent architecture Blackfin processor in its Connect-LX system to significantly enhance functionality of this new generation of products. New features include VoIP and analog phone system interfaces, as well as support for wireless PDA, kiosks, handheld units, price scanners, and other devices to control loss prevention and other critical operations. Among early adopters of the new Connect-LX are some of the largest retail chains in the United States.

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ADI's Blackfin beat out all the other processors we considered on a number of factors, including high processing power, low energy use (which enabled a fanless design), and reliable uClinux operating system and device driver support

At the heart of the Connect-LX system is the Blackfin ADSP-BF533 running the uClinux kernel which handles system level functions. The Asterisk VoIP server and proprietary Indyme software provide processing for up to eight analog phone lines, two high-fidelity audio streams for PA and walkie-talkies. The ADI AD1980 SoC audio processor chip processes raw callbox data streams from as many as 16 303MHz receivers, receiving and configuring simultaneous input from multiple 802.11-based call boxes.

"ADI's Blackfin beat out all the other processors we considered on a number of factors, including high processing power, low energy use (which enabled a fanless design), and reliable uClinux operating system and device driver support," said Fred Anderson Engineering VP of Indyme Solutions. "The new Blackfin processor is clearly the key component of this design, allowing us to realize our commitment to customers for low-cost, feature-rich, environment-friendly solutions for the modern retail environment."

Previous generations of products required a much more complex board design, due in part to additional interface circuitry, which in turn required higher levels of operating power consumption. The Blackfin design includes many of these interfaces on the processor chip, eliminating components and complexity. The processor in earlier designs was also not fast enough to provide the levels of signal control and routing, and audio and telephony signal processing required in large retail operations. The convergent Blackfin architecture and high clock rate of the ADSP-BF533, combined with its compiler-friendly design, result in lower system cost, reduced board space and less power consumption while adding an impressive number of high value features.

Indyme is proud to promote the Connect-LX as a significantly "greener" replacement for earlier call box processing units, due to its much lower power consumption. The company has compiled comparison studies of "before" and "after" environmental impacts of older products versus the new Connect-LX unit to demonstrate its "green efficiency".

"The power consumption of user applications is highly dependent on processor architecture and economy of design," says Jerry McGuire, vice president, General Purpose DSP at ADI. "The Blackfin offers superior functionality and performance, through its use of a unique, convergent architecture that natively performs control functions as well as fixed point signal processing with a dual MAC design. The convergent processor design is more than a vision of the future of technology; it's today's required reality."

A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing

Analog Devices' Blackfin embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processor with the industry's highest performance and power efficiency for applications where a convergence of capabilities -- multi-format audio, video, voice and image processing; multi-mode baseband and packet processing; and real-time security and control processing -- are critical. It is this powerful combination of software flexibility and scalability that has gained Blackfin widespread adoption in convergent applications such as digital home entertainment, networked and streaming media, automotive telematics and infotainment, and digital radio and mobile TV.

About Analog Devices

Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices' common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "ADI" and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Blackfin is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Jessen Wehrwein
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