ADI Blackfin Outperforms ARM-Based Freescale i.MX Processors in EEMBC 'Out-of-the-Box' C Benchmarks

Certified, independent results demonstrate Blackfin's superior performance and flexibility for automotive, digital entertainment, industrial, and numerous embedded applications.

Norwood, MA (3/14/2007) - Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI) today announced certified results for the Blackfin® BF533 processor in a wide range of tests performed by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC). ADI's Blackfin demonstrated strong performance in 11 EEMBC® benchmark ratings, which test for specific capabilities in embedded communications, networking, consumer, office automation, automotive, industrial and digital entertainment applications. All of the tests were run using EEMBC's “out-of-the-box” C code, which demonstrates Blackfin's microprocessor and C compiler performance.

“The high performance levels achieved by ADI's Blackfin BF533 processor across so many of the EEMBC benchmarks show its applicability for a broad range of embedded applications,” said Markus Levy, EEMBC president. “These scores will provide designers with additional objective data to help them select the optimal processor for their given applications.”

“We believe these results demonstrate Blackfin's performance and flexibility and also its ease of use for building systems where both control and digital signal processing are important,” said Maury Wood, product line director, Convergent Platforms and Services Group, Analog Devices, Inc.. “The EEMBC out-of-the-box C tests show Blackfin's ability to deliver high levels of performance with standard C code, which enables our customers to minimize their hand-coding and therefore reduce development costs and time to market. And by testing across such a wide variety of benchmarks, we have shown that Blackfin is capable of handling the processing demands of embedded applications as varied as industrial, which rely heavily on microprocessor-intensive calculations, and digital entertainment, which require an ability to identify and exploit opportunities for digital signal processing.”

Superior Performance vs. ARM

Other companies that have tested their processors against a similar range of EEMBC benchmarks include Freescale, which certified results with its i.MX31 and i.MX21 products. (Freescale's i.MX processors are based on licensed ARM designs.) Compared to these popular ARM-based processors across 11 tests that measure performance in networking, automotive, consumer, office automation, telecommunications and digital entertainment applications, the Blackfin BF533 delivered superior performance. in 20 of the 21 available metrics. The BF533 was tested at 594 MHz, the i.MX31 was tested at 532 MHz and the i.MX21 was tested at 266 MHz. ADI's Blackfin family of processors offer industry leading power efficiency, down to 0.16 mW/MHz at 250 MHz, and are priced as low as $4.95 per unit in 10,000-piece quantities.

“The Blackfin BF533's Automark performance of 183.1 compares very favorably to the Freescale i.MX31's 126.6, given that several of the tests in this particular benchmark depend heavily on floating-point calculations, where the i.MX31 has hardware support,” continued Wood. “In addition, the BF533's Telemark result of 11.7 versus the i.MX31 at 6.1 shows the Blackfin's superior ability to process DSP tasks. Any way you look at it, the Blackfin processor is a great all-around performer, with no weak points.”

Manufacturer ADI Freescale Freescale

Processor Blackfin ARM1136JF-S ARM926EJ-S

Product BF533 i.MX31 i.MX21

Clock (MHz) 594 532 266

Certified on HW? yes yes yes

EEMBC Networking 2.0*

IPmark** 45 50.4 24.4

TCPmark** 117 68.5 NA

EEMBC AutoBench 1.1*

Automark** 183.1 126.6 29.6

EEMBC AutoBench 1.1*

Consumermark** 54.9 26.6 13.7

EEMBC OABench 1.1*

OAmark** 352 341 152

EEMBC TeleBench 1.1*

Telemark** 11.7 6.1 2.5

EEMBC DENBench 1.0*

MPEG Decodemark** 337 231 112

MPEG Encodemark** 392 243 100

Cryptoemark** 257 219 104

Imagemark** 352 315 154

DENmark** 57.5 45.5 21.6

Geometric Mean* 138.7 99.3 42.6

*Out-of-the-box category

**Higher numbers are better

A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing

Analog Devices' Blackfin embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processors 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.


EEMBC, the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, develops and certifies real-world benchmarks and benchmark scores to help designers select the right embedded processors for their systems. Every processor submitted for EEMBC® benchmarking is tested for parameters representing different workloads and capabilities in communications, networking, consumer, office automation, automotive/industrial, embedded Java, and microcontroller-related applications. With members including leading semiconductor, intellectual property, and compiler companies, EEMBC establishes benchmark standards and provides certified benchmarking results through the EEMBC Technology Center.

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.