De-Facto Standard in Customizable Processors

Cadence® Tensilica® Xtensa® processors combine the best of CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and dedicated custom RTL in ASICs/SoCs and enable the development of energy-efficient domain-specific processors that offer high performance, flexibility for future-proofing, and more importantly, can be tailored for your specific application requirements. Xtensa processors are based on a modular, highly flexible 32-bit RISC architecture that can easily scale from a tiny, cache-less controller or task engine to a high-performance SIMD/VLIW DSP. Furthermore, to facilitate the development of SoCs for functional safety, the Xtensa architecture supports a windowed watchdog timer (WWDT) and FlexLock including dual-core lockstep (DCLS).

Key Benefits

Innovation & Differentiation

Create unique differentiated hardware tailored to specific application requirements for optimal performance and energy efficiency

Future-proof your design

Programming flexibility for OTA updates to enable innovation that results in frequent algorithm updates

Unmatched Ease of Extensibility

Increased computational and I/O performance by executing multiple independent instructions in parallel and using wide I/O datapaths for virtually unlimited bandwidth


  • Efficient real-time 32-bit base Xtensa processor architecture
  • Configurable instruction and data caches and local memories
  • Choose from pre-verified application-specific DSP ISAs
  • Click-box IEEE 754-compliant single- and double-precision floating-point options
  • Choice of low-power features
  • Extensibility with application-specific instructions, execution units, register files, and I/Os
  • Multiple bus interface options including Arm® AMBA® 3 and 4 AXI, ACE-Lite, PIF, AHB-Lite
  • Low-latency Integrated DMA (iDMA) Controller
  • Industry-standard debug features like JTAG and multi-core debug support
  • Compatible with Arm CoreSight™ debug and trace technology
  • Processor-specific software, tools, and models generated automatically
  • C/C++ compiler with proven auto-vectorizing capabilities
  • ISO 26262 compliant: Certified as ASIL-compliant and equipped with both hardware and software safety mechanisms


Cadence, through its Tensilica processor IP, brings together best-in-class products and services from industry leaders to help you accelerate the development of your SoC designs while meeting your demanding power and performance requirements. Browse the list of Tensilica processor IP service partners below.


Functional Safety for Automotive

Cadence is committed to enabling Functional Safety applications across the Tensilica processor lineup, whether it's an off-the-shelf processor/DSP IP or a custom domain-specific processor for a specific application

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Tensilica Processor Technology

Differentiate, reduce time to market, add flexibility, and get the best performance, power, and area

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Customize your DSPs/processors for optimized performance, energy efficiency, and differentiation

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Development Toolchain

Create a perfect match for your application, guaranteed correct by construction

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Cadence is committed to keeping design teams highly productive with a range of support offerings and processes designed to keep users focused on reducing time to market and achieving silicon success.

Free Software Evaluation

Try our SDK Software Development Toolkit for 15 days absolutely free. We want to show you how easy it is to use our Eclipse-based IDE.

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Our hands-on training has been demonstrated to dramatically speed up the understanding of Tensilica tools and best use of the products.

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Online Support

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Xtensa Processor Generator (XPG)

The Xtensa Processor Generator (XPG) is the heart of our technology - the patented cloud-based system that creates your correct-by-construction processor and all associated software, models, etc. (Login Required)

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