Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (1-25-10): Designing With the Blackfin DSP



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Even as DSP is becoming more ubiquitousin embedded designs, according to BDTI's Jeff Bier, DSPs have becomemore invisible. Ironically, he says, as its importance has grown, the number of DSP chip vendors has decreased.Also, there are few if any “pure” DSP architectures, replaced byso-called converged RISC/DSP architectures.

One of the companies that has survived and thrived is AnalogDevices, with its Blackfin RSC/DSP architecture,originally co-developed by ADI and Intel as Micro Signal Architecture.Analog Devices has since taken that architecture and spun out a familyof variants optimized for a variety of app, including baseband handsets, femtocell designs,consumer audio and consumer video,H.264 compression, and portable media players.

Included in this round-up of design articles on the Blackfin arethree recent Product How-To articles on its use inbus-powered USB2.0 designs, implementationof the Goertzel algorithm and a 2D barcode design . In addition there is a collection of my Editor's Favorites:afour part series on doing DMA on the Blackfin, a three part series on implementing Linux onthe Blackfin and  interfacingthe Blackfin to the I2C, I2S, SPI and BT.656.

There are also informative articles on  CORDIC algorithmacceleration , implementingthe AES security algorithm , acceleratingsymmetric key algorithms , and efficient CRCcalculation. Good reading! (Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole, bccole@acm.org )

Using Direct Memory Access effectively in media-based embedded applications – Part 1
In the first of a four part series, David Katz and Rick Gentile, authors of “Embedded Media Processing,” deal with the basics of Direct Memory Access (DMA) design
uClinux on the Blackfin DSP Architecture: Part 1
In this first in a three part series, the author provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of using DSP-based architectures with uClinux.
Optimizing open-source signal processing software
Open-source algorithms hold many advantages, but they present optimization challenges. This article show how to succesfully port open-source algorithms to an embedded processor, using Analog Devices' Blackfin as example.
Interfacing processors to audio and video devices
This article introduces the basics of connecting DSP processors to audio and video devices. It includes helpful refreshers on common interfaces such as I2C, I2S, SPI, and BT.656.
  DESIGN ARTICLES: Using ADI's Blackfin
Optimize inter-processor communication in dual baseband dual mode handsets
The onset of HSPA capable handsets, combined with improved video and data content quality, brews a perfect storm for many inter-processor communication architectures. Traditional interconnects can no longer support data throughputs in line with baseband processor capabilities and future mobile communication standards. Here's why multi-port interconnects may be a viable solution.
Intro to VisualDSP Kernel, a lightweight OS for Blackfin
This article introduces Analog Devices' VisualDSP Kernel (VDK) and its use with Blackfin. We examine VDK's capabilities, look at the APIs that power it, and present its cycle count and memory footprint.
Speeding up the CORDIC algorithm with a DSP
When a CORDIC algorithm is implemented on a digital signal processor, can the multipliers improve CORDIC performance?
Implementation of the AES algorithm on Deeply Pipelined DSP/RISC Processor
A more efficient implementation of the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm on a deeply pipelined RISC/DSP engine reduces overall pipeline stalls during its execution.
Acceleration of Symmetric-Key Algorithms in Software
Here's a short tutorial from Wassim Bassalee and Yosef Stein on symmetric-key algorithms and some guidelines as to when and where and how to use software rather than hardware acceleration.
Efficient CRC calculation with minimal memory footprint
You can implement the cyclic redundancy check function in an embedded systems design with minimal impact on memory or performance by using linear feedback shift register instructions more intelligently.
Performance tuning the Blackfin DSP
Here's how to build a software framework, choose between cache and DMA, and partition instructions and data for optimal performance.
Turbo encoders boost efficiency of a femtocell's DSP
With an efficient turbo-encoder algorithm, a multichannel 14.4-Mbps femtocell base station can be done on a single digital signal processor.
Fundamentals of embedded video
This 5-part series explains how video signals are tailored to the human vision system, and reviews the basics of NSTC and PAL video signals.
Fundamentals of embedded audio
This 3-part series explains how processors interface with audio signals. It explains the basics of audio converters and the common peripheral standards for connecting to these converters.
Programming and optimizing C code for DSP applications
This five-part series introduces the basic principles of writing C code for a DSP processor. It also explains how to profile and optimize code.
For feature-rich PMPs, start with the basics
The steady march of features on portable media players is not only letting consumers strike up their favorite music wherever they go; it's also allowing them to watch video, shoot digital photos, play games and more. Wi-Fi connectivity is poised to be the next big thing, enabling direct-to-device downloads and peer-to-peer communication. That tightens the squeeze on processing and power requirements and raises concerns about digital rights management. How do you deliver features but keep fundamental design issues from getting in the way?
Interfacing processors to audio and video devices
This article introduces the basics of connecting DSP processors to audio and video devices. It includes helpful refreshers on common interfaces such as I2C, I2S, SPI, and BT.656.
How to optimize H.264 video decode on a digital baseband processor
The multiplicity of wireless standards places a large burden on what already constitutes a highly complex hardware and software system, and hence making explicit code placement unfeasible. Here's a method to find the optimal location for the code segments of a large software system.
Using the Blackfin Processor for Bus-Powered USB 2.0 Compliant Designs
How to use the low power ADSP-BF527 Blackfin processor and its built-in in USB physical layer interface (PHY) to incorporate high speed USB 2.0 capabilities, as well as USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality into a wide range of portable consumer and embedded devices.
Efficient Fixed-Point Implementation of the Goertzel Algorithm on a Blackfin DSP
How to use the Goertzel algorithm flow and its fixed-point implementation on the Analog Devices Blackfin BF5xx processor its special arithmetic modes as well as how to efficiently implement 16.16 fixed-point multiplications.
2D Barcode Decoding Implementation on Low Footprint DSPs
How to 2D barcode technology on a small footprint member of the Analog Devices Blackfin BF53x family series of digital signal processors, including the Data Matrix 2D barcode decoding implementation process, and estimated memory size and number of cycles required.

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