DSP toolset optimizes code for speed and size - Embedded.com

DSP toolset optimizes code for speed and size

Embedded Programmers Can Now Optimize DSP Software Faster With TI's Code Composer Studio Tuning Edition

Houston — Delivering a new way for programmers to reduce system cost and improve the development timeline for high performance embedded systems applications, Texas Instruments today announced the newest standard in software and development tools with the release of Code Composer Studio Tuning Edition Integrated Development Environment (IDE). CCStudio Tuning Edition accelerates the development process by providing an integrated collection of seven tools that make it easier and faster for digital signal processing (DSP) programmers to optimize code for speed and size. For full information about CCStudio Tuning Edition, visit www.ti.com/ccstudiopr.

CCStudio Tuning Edition's tools proactively review program code, track potential areas for improvement and offer suggestions to help programmers optimize system performance and memory usage. These powerful yet easy-to-use features speed development time and help programmers unleash the full potential of TI's TMS320C6000 DSP platform devices.

“By fully utilizing CCStudio Tuning Edition's tools and features, programmers can significantly reduce application development time,” said Mike Trujillo, eXpressDSP product marketing manager, TI. “Using the highly optimized code generated by CCStudio Tuning Edition, engineers can maximize the full capabilities of a high performance DSP, or in other cases fit their application into a less expensive device.”

New Dashboard and Powerful Optimization Tools CCStudio Tuning Edition's centerpiece is its dashboard, a user-friendly configurable display that reduces the learning curve typical of detailed code optimization tools, while enabling deep visibility into the ways in which a program is meeting key user goals. The dashboard is made up of four windows ” the Advice Window, the Goals Window, the Profile Setup and the Profile Viewer.

' Advice Window: An intuitive user interface, this window offers the programmer proactive advice to assist with assessing and solving code optimization tasks.

' Goals Window: Using this window, the programmer sets and tracks development goals toward cycle count and code size.

' Profile Setup: This window is an easy-to-use tool for initializing profile data for optimization.

' Profile Viewer: The Profile Viewer window displays easy links for optimization, as well as performance metrics including cycle count, pipeline stalls and cache misses.

The dashboard operates in unison with Tuning Edition's three core tools ” Compiler Consultant, CodeSizeTune and CacheTune. These tools all act as engines to power the selected optimization tasks with speed and targeted efficiency.

' Compiler Consultant: Acting as a “virtual expert,” Compiler Consultant provides specific advice to improve the programmer's entered code, such as modifying loops or indicating which information to pass to the compiler to aid in optimization.

' CodeSizeTune: In just a matter of minutes, CodeSizeTune evaluates every possible set of compiler options for individual code functions, and then generates a two-dimensional graph of the composite cycle count vs. code size.

' CacheTune: This integrated tool enables programmers to target the place and time in which their application is performing sub-optimally due to cache issues.

Pricing and Availability

Building on Code Composer Studio's programmer-focused collection of tools and features, CCStudio Tuning Edition integrates everything programmers need for application development from start to finish including reference frameworks, project manager, code generation tools, built-in editor, simulators, DSP/BIOS, debug and analysis tools, drivers and software libraries. CCStudio Tuning Edition is available today for $3,595, which includes 15 months of update subscription service. For current C6000 Code Composer Studio subscribers, CCStudio Tuning Edition is available at no additional charge under their active subscription. A free 90-day evaluation version is available on CD-ROM or via download at www.ti.com/ccstudiopr.

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Texas Instruments latest release of its Code Composer Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Version 3.0 for TMS320C6000 appears to be a significant software upgrade for developers of DSP — based systems. The new Tuning Edition delivers a collection of new and enhanced tools and features to help signal processor developers tune and optimize code for speed and size faster and easier than ever before.

Tuning Edition replaces Code Composer Studio version 2.2 for C6000 and provides a foundation upon which programmers can build and optimize high performance applications such as streaming video and audio. Among the DSPs to be supported by this toolset is the new 720MHz DM642, which is now in the sampling mode. With the tools, programmers extract precisely the degree of power and performance needed from a processor, which is a much more efficient and cost effective approach than just adding more memory when needed.

Tuning Edition introduces the developer to a “tuning mode” in addition to the standard debug interface in the earlier CCStudio. The new tuning mode offers enhancements in the form of new tools and utilities to assist programmers with the challenging task of code optimization. As the final stage in the application development process, optimization or tuning has traditionally been a problematic stage for many developers as they move quickly to wrap up a project. Tuning Edition's tools and features work together to simplify and accelerate the optimization process, enabling developers to meet aggressive deadlines with an application that is fully optimized for performance and size, with reduced system cost.

Tuning Edition integrates everything programmers need for application development from start to finish including reference frameworks, project manager, code generation tools, built-in editor, simulators, DSP/BIOS, debug and analysis tools, drivers and software libraries. Tuning Edition now supports optimization of applications running on C6000 processors. TI is currently configuring the tools to support other DSP platforms, such as the C5000 and C2000 DSPs.

The new software toolset consists of an integrated collection of seven tools. There are two basic components to the tuning edition. The first, a dashboard viewer, provides the programmer with a multi-window overview of the tuning process. The second component consists of three core tuning tools, called Compiler Consultant, CodeSizeTune and CacheTune.

For the first time ever, according to TI, programmers have an intuitive advisor at their fingertips to guide them through the design process, offering suggestions to help fully optimize their application. And with the integrated set of tools included in Tuning Edition, programmers can perform code optimization faster and easier than ever, thus dramatically reducing development time. This in turn allows OEMs to shorten their product development timeline, enabling faster time to market.

The dashboard includes the Profile Viewer, Profile Setup, Goals Window and Advice Window, all of which are said to provide deep visibility into the ways in which a program is meeting key user targets. Working in conjunction with the core tuning tools, the dashboard acts as a “virtual advisor,” pinpointing and communicating areas where code can be further optimized, while allowing the programmer to easily set, adjust and monitor application goals. Once areas for improvement have been identified, the programmer can use the new tools to optimize the code for performance and size. The resulting efficiencies in performance and memory lead to reduced system cost and, ultimately, faster time to market, according to TI.

New Dashboard and Powerful Optimization Tools

Advice Window is an intuitive user interface. This window introduces the tuning tools to the user, aids in the setup of each tool, and interactively guides the user when using each of the tools. It offers the programmer proactive advice to assist with assessing and solving code optimization tasks.

Using the Goals Window, the programmer sets and tracks development goals toward cycle count and code size. CCStudio Tuning Edition tracks progress toward these goals, continuously displaying and updating current, previous and delta data in relation to the goals.

The Profile Setup window has been designed to be an easy-to-use tool for initializing profile data for optimization. The programmer selects the data type and range to be collected from a set of action choices such as “Collect Run Time Loop Information” or “Profile all Functions and Loops for Total Cycles.”

The Profile Viewer window displays easy links for optimization, as well as performance metrics including cycle count, pipeline stalls and cache misses. This window provides sorted and organized data that directly links to one of Tuning Edition's core tools, the Compiler Consultant, to provide the programmer with expert advice. Acting as a “virtual expert,” Compiler Consultant provides specific advice to improve the programmer's entered code, such as modifying loops or indicating which information to pass to the compiler to aid in optimization. This helps the programmer take full and immediate advantage of a chip's architectural features without initiating a complete code rewrite. Keeping in mind the processor's architecture, this tool proactively links directly to the line of code to edit, further simplifying the optimization process.

In just a matter of minutes, CodeSizeTune evaluates every possible set of compiler options for individual code functions, and then generates a two-dimensional graph of the composite cycle count vs. code size. The user selects the point on the graph that comes closest to the desired goals, and CCStudio Tuning Edition then builds each function with the options corresponding to that point. To reach optimal levels of both size and performance, programmers previously had to perform multiple separate compiles and assess the tradeoffs between various compiler options. CodeSizeTune delivers particular value by offering the programmer visibility into optimization sensitivity. It identifies the areas where a small change in the graph along either the cycle count or the code size axis can yield a notable gain in optimization.

Programmers often find it difficult to determine the causes of cache conflicts and poor cache performance. The CacheTune integrated tool enables programmers to target the place and time in which their application is performing sub-optimally due to cache issues. Using a two-dimensional graph and a point-and-click interface, CacheTune displays hit/miss data in the cache and provides suggestions via the Advice Window for improved cache performance. By increasing the number of cache hits, programmers in turn decrease the memory access cycle counts, which results in improved application performance.

Other features of Tuning Edition include: fast simulators with deeper device visibility for quick and precise problem resolution. There is also high speed emulation drivers for TI's XDS560 JTAG emulator. The DSP/BIOS designed specifically for TI's DSP platforms, which consists of a multi-threading kernel, real-time analysis tools and peripheral configuration libraries.

In addition, TI third parties provide logic analyzers, hardware testing equipment and a wide array of emulators that support different host I/O interfaces including USB, Ethernet, PCI, parallel port, PCMCIA and ISA bus. Tuning Edition's debug and emulation software is self-configuring and uses advanced new user interfaces to make debugging System-on-a-Chip (SoC) devices as simple as possible Tuning Edition also supports the development of plug-in applications that can both control the processor and visualize emulation data via RTDX.

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Tuning Edition is available free to all current C6000 Code Composer Studio subscribers. It is also included with all TMS320C6000 platform Developer Starter Kits. It can be purchased stand alone for $3,595, which includes 15 months of subscription service. Tuning Edition will be available in September 2004. It can be purchased through TI's e-store and TI distributors. A free 90-day evaluation version is available on CD-ROM or via download at www.ti.com/ccstudiopr

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