With the latest generation of digital signal processing chips pretty well accounted for, attention in recent times has turned to the beefing-up of software development tools which continue to grow in importance when system designers choose a processor platform.
Texas Instruments (Houston, Tex.) for example recently launched what it calls the Platinum Edition of its Code Composer Studio (CCStudio) Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Microchip Technology (Chandler, Ariz.) released a speech encoding and decoding library for its dsPIC digital signal controller. Designers looking to put DSP functions into Xilinx Inc.'s (San Jose, Calif.) Virtex-4 FPGA designs can now turn to Synplify Pro Software 8.1 from Synplicity Inc.(Sunnyvale, Calif.) Synplicity Pro 8.1 software allows users to take advantage of the different operating modes of the Virtex-4 device's DSP48 blocks by automatically implementing selected XtremeDSP structures. Users can also leverage the Virtex-4 device family's ability to cascade multiple DSP blocks.
Analog Devices (Norwood, Mass.) touted the latest software tools from its third party vendors with the launch of its new Blackfin DSP telematics platform aimed at the automotive market.
TI’s new CCStudio Platinum Edition provides a single IDE that supports multiple TI DSP platforms in one installation and at the same cost as a single platform, saving DSP original equipment manufacturers significant time and expense in the design of multiprocessor, multi-platform applications.
The Platinum Edition also makes code debugging less frustrating by introducing two new features that can save developers significant time when tracking down pervasive bugs. The CCStudio Rewind feature, a DSP industry first, allows programmers to back-step through their source code with a single keystroke, while the new Connect/Disconnect feature enables developers to “hot swap” a target board in seconds to eliminate hardware suspects during debug.
According to TI, many DSP applications today are growing to hundreds of thousands of lines of code with on-board support for multiple processors. These complex systems are often based on multiple DSP processors and platforms in order to achieve the necessary scale of operations. In the past, developers using multiple DSP platforms normally had to maintain multiple toolsets for their designs. TI's new CCStudio Platinum Edition simplifies this process by offering a fully merged IDE supporting all TI platforms, including the TMS320C6000 DSP, TMS320C5000 DSP, TMS320C2000 DSP and OMAP platforms. For more details, please search forTI’s CCStudio Platinum Edition.
Microchip Technology expects that its new speech encoding and decoding library will be a welcome addition for embedded system designers working with limited bandwidth or memory. Specifically, the library, dubbed dsPIC30F, touts a 16-to-1 maximum compression ratio, which compared to lower compression methods lets you transmit more messages for a given time and bandwidth or store longer messages in a given amount of memory. As for sound quality and intelligibility, the library achieves a PESQ score (Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality) score of 3.7 to 4.2. And because the library is based on the Speex open source audio-compression format, it is offered royalty-free for a one-time licensing fee. The library's speech encoder samples data at 8 kHz using either the dsPIC's on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital converter or a 16-bit input from an external codec. The output of the encoder is a compressed 8-kbits/s stream. Encoding requires 19 MIPS (worst case), 33 kbytes of program memory, and 6.2 kbytes of RAM. One second of speech fills 1 kbyte of on-chip or external EEPROM, RAM, or flash memory. Decoding is achieved using the dsPIC's PWM technique or an external codec and requires 3 MIPS, 15 kbytes of program memory, and 3.2 kbytes of RAM. Search for Microchip’s software library.
Designers looking to put DSP functions into Xilinx Inc.'s Virtex-4 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) designs can now turn to Synplify Pro Software 8.1 from Synplicity Inc. Synplicity Pro 8.1 software allows users to take advantage of the different operating modes of the Virtex-4 device's DSP48 blocks by automatically implementing selected XtremeDSP structures. Users can also leverage the Virtex-4 device family's ability to cascade multiple DSP blocks. With Synplicity Pro 8.1 software, FIR filters can be inferred and implemented to operate at 500-MHz. Many commonly used DSP functions are inferred directly from the designer's HDL code and put directly in Virtex-4 DSP48 blocks by employing Xilinx ISE logic design tools. For more details, please search Xilinx tools.
Analog Devices, Inc.'s newest Blackfin ADSP-BF534 and ADSP-BF539 processors drive the company's Blackfin car telematics platform and provide connectivity to the CAN and MOST bus networks. ADI works closely with its third party vendors such as Green Hills Software. Green Hills Software provides secure, industry-leading development tools, such as the MULTI Integrated Development Environment (IDE); C, C++ and EC++ compilers; Green Hills Probe and Slingshot probe, according to ADI. These tools offer embedded system developers in the automotive industry a best-in-class solution that will address all of their development needs as well as broad operating system support, thereby enabling them to get their products to market in a faster and less expensive manner. Search ADI software.