Blackfin Processor's Performance and Power Efficiency Are Key to Design of World's First Distributed Undersea Natural Gas Pipeline Monitoring System

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Bjørge AS selects Blackfin processor to power sophisticated acoustic monitors operating at depths up to 850 meters for more than six months on battery power.

When the customer's critical design requirements include time-to-market, compact size, extremely low power consumption and leading-edge processor performance, Blackfin is the right choice.

Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing, today announced that its Blackfin® processors are an integral part of the world's first distributed, synchronized undersea pipeline monitoring system, developed by Bjørge AS based on NAXYS Technology for Norway's largest-ever industrial project, tapping the Ormen Lange natural gas field. The Naxys technology uses hydro-acoustics and other non-contact sensor technologies for their complex sub sea state monitoring and analysis tasks.

The system was developed using National Instruments LabVIEW Development Module for ADI Blackfin Processors. The LabVIEW Embedded Module for Blackfin Processors is an extension of the LabVIEW graphical development environment and directly targets ADI Blackfin processors.

When production starts from the Ormen Lange undersea gas field in the autumn of 2007, gas will be pumped through a pipeline 120 kilometers (75 miles) long at depths up to 850 meters (2,788 feet) to on-shore production facilities. To monitor pipeline vibrations created by internal flow and the strong currents in the harsh ocean environment, Bjørge developed a system that uses acoustics to synchronize multiple sensor nodes, each of which is driven by a Blackfin ADSP-BF533 processor running at 500 MHz. To meet the challenging project schedule, Bjørge opted for the low-power off-the-shelf Zmobile platform from Schmid Engineering AG, Munchwilen, Switzerland, which is based on the Blackfin processor with versatile mixed signal and communication features.

The LabVIEW Embedded Module for Blackfin Processors and the Zmobile deployment platform provided the tools necessary for delivering the monitoring system on a tight deadline and capable of standing up to the extreme conditions encountered in the North Sea.

Blackfin Fits the Bill
Bjørge selected the Blackfin processor because the Blackfin architecture provides the combination of control and signal processing resources needed to implement complex embedded solutions. Blackfin processors provide both micro-controller and signal processor functionality in a unified core, combining a dual-MAC signal-processing engine with the advantage of an orthogonal RISC-like microprocessor instruction set and single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD) capabilities. This architecture provides an ideal platform for the workload of distributed acoustical processing and analysis.

The Blackfin processor's superior power management capabilities were another crucial deciding factor for Bjørge, as the sensors at the core of its monitoring system are required to perform for up to six months on a single battery charge. Blackfin processors are designed in a low- power and low-voltage design methodology and also feature dynamic power management, the ability to vary operating voltage and frequency to significantly lower overall power consumption.

"Developing a pipeline monitoring system for the Ormen Lange gas field was a challenging assignment for Bjørge," said Harald Månum, senior engineer at Bjørge. "We needed to quickly design a solution that fit within very tight constraints on physical size and power consumption, which at the same time offered the computational horsepower to run sophisticated analytical and control programs. Full support for the new graphical embedded system design approach using National Instruments' LabVIEWTM Embedded was a key requirement for Bjørge. ADI's Blackfin was the only embedded processor that was up to the job."

"Bjørge's unique application highlights Blackfin's proven strengths as an embedded processor," said Jerry McGuire, vice president, General Purpose DSP Group, Analog Devices, Inc. "When the customer's critical design requirements include time-to-market, compact size, extremely low power consumption and leading-edge processor performance, Blackfin is the right choice."

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.

Because developers today seek to reduce time to market by choosing a robust ecosystem that brings them nearer to the capabilities of their end-products, Analog Devices provides an industry-leading tools, starter kits and support including the familiar ADI Crosscore® software and hardware tools that support other Blackfin Processors. These include the award-winning VisualDSP++® integrated development and debug environment (IDDE), emulators, and EZ-KIT Lite® evaluation hardware.

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.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,300 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past eight years, Fortune magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling (512) 683-5090, e-mailing [email protected] or visiting

Blackfin, Crosscore, VisualDSP++, and EZ-KIT Lite are registered trademarks of Analog Devices, Inc. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners.


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