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DSP-enhanced MCUs, SoCs target wireless designs

Posted: 07 Oct 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microchip? DSP? MCU? SoC? wireless?

A fully pipelined, single precision floating-point capability helps accelerate high dynamic range calculations for applications such as gesture recognition and fingerprint detection. Custom instruction support allows a further level of application acceleration for such things as IIR (infinite impulse response) and logarithmic DSP operations. In addition to 32bit data, the MAC unit supports dual 16bit single instruction multiple data (SIMD) multiply and MAC operations. Full complex multiplication is also supported, performing four multiplies and two additions per cycle.

Flex Logix's FPGA-in-SoC

Also targeting a range of high end consumer and wireless applications is Flex Logix which has just extended its FPGA-in-SoC architecture to include DSP functionality along with Block RAM capability. The basic building block for implementing these DSP functions is a new pre-adder/multiplier/accumulator (MAC). The ability to create cores with as many as 40 MACs with 22bit inputs and 48bit accumulation allows for high precision and high throughput when pipelined. They can also be used as complex-number MACs for certain DSP algorithms.

Target applications include a range of image and audio processing as well as wireless base station digital front ends, with high performance DSP functions such as finite impulse response (FIR) filters, infinite impulse response (IIR) filters and fast Fourier transforms (FFT).

Microchip's PIC32mz EF

Finally there is Microchip Technology with its latest PIC32MZ EF family of 32bit MCUs based on a 32bit MIPS M-Class core capable of 200MHz/330 DMIPS and 3.28CoreMarks/MHz. They feature an integrated hardware floating point unit (FPU) for high performance and lower latency in intensive single and double-precision math applications. With an extensive DSP instruction set and a double-precision FPU the family has been designed for improved code density, decreased latency and better performance in process-intensive applications in a wide range of high end consumer products.

If Microchip is targeting developers in the consumer market, featuring the PIC32MZ EF series is in the latest version of the Arduino-compatible development board is a smart move. The board is targeted at new PIC32 developers who may need a means of rapid-prototyping designs for this fast moving market.

I suspect there will be others who will start talking about their DSP-enhanced MCUs and SoCs in coming months. However, based on this small sampling I think we'll see a lot of DSP-related activity at CES in the areas of sensor fusion, hands-free voice detection, speech recognition, and audio processing, as well as in a host of next-generation DSP-intensive wireless IoT designs.

- Bernard Cole
??EE Times

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