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Which DSP vendor has the best DSP architecture and why?

There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?

Thanks.........dp
0
petkevich
12/20/2003 3:25:35 AM
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On 19 Dec 2003 19:25:35 -0800, petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote:

>There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
>Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
>architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
>
>Thanks.........dp

Your question tickled me.

It's like asking, "Who makes the best 
gasoline-powered vehicle, who has the 
best maintenance history and dealer 
support, and why?"

[-Rick-]

0
r
12/20/2003 1:09:38 PM
petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote in message news:<fb59c1e4.0312191925.6cf521c5@posting.google.com>...
> There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
> Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
> architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
> 
> Thanks.........dp

Easy. TI. Its outsells all the others by a large margin, so it must be
the best. Right? :-)

TI gets most of the high volume stuff. ADI gets most of the niche
applications. The other suppliers seem to be in terminal decline.

Regards,
Steve
0
steveu
12/20/2003 2:27:09 PM
steveu@coppice.org (Steve Underwood) wrote in
news:80bddbd7.0312200627.1f32171c@posting.google.com: 

> petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote in message
> news:<fb59c1e4.0312191925.6cf521c5@posting.google.com>... 
>> There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
>> Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
>> architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
>> 
>> Thanks.........dp
> 
> Easy. TI. Its outsells all the others by a large margin, so it must be
> the best. Right? :-)
> 
> TI gets most of the high volume stuff. ADI gets most of the niche
> applications. The other suppliers seem to be in terminal decline.
> 
> Regards,
> Steve
> 

2 out of 3 DSPs are in cell phones. If you look at the "Rest of the 
World" market, ADI and TI are the big horses in the race, each with about 
30% market share. Motorola has been in decline for many years and I don't 
know anyone who uses Agere.

Most of us are either TI or ADI partisans. My company is very excited 
about the new Analog Devices' ADSP-21262 Sharc. This is a 32 bit floating 
& fixed point DSP that is great for single processor emebedded 
applications. It is especially strong for digital audio applications. 

As a ADI partisan, I have always liked the readable assembly language of 
the ADI DSPs. Even if you want to use C for DSP, learning the assembly 
language of the target DSP is important. I think that it is easier to 
program an ADI DSP. Instructions execute in one cycle and the pipelines 
are short. It is my understanding that with the TI DSPs, you better trust 
your tools, because the VLIW makes it very hard for a human to write 
efficient code at the assembly level.

All of the newer DSPs are fast and similar parts can probably solve the 
same problems. If you want a transferable skill set, I would stick to TI 
or ADI.  

So here's the bottom line:

1. Use ADI
2. Buy your boards from Danville
3. Don't listen to those other guys.

Now that that's settled, we can move on to easier questions like 
religion, politics, best sports teams, etc.....


-- 
Al Clark
Danville Signal Processing, Inc.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Purveyors of Fine DSP Hardware and other Cool Stuff
Available at http://www.danvillesignal.com
0
Al
12/20/2003 3:42:36 PM
"Al Clark" <dsp@danvillesignal.com> wrote in message
news:Xns945762C8FE47Daclarkdanvillesignal@66.133.130.30...
> steveu@coppice.org (Steve Underwood) wrote in
> news:80bddbd7.0312200627.1f32171c@posting.google.com:
>
> > petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote in message
> > news:<fb59c1e4.0312191925.6cf521c5@posting.google.com>...
> >> There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
> >> Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
> >> architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
> >>
> >> Thanks.........dp
> >
> > Easy. TI. Its outsells all the others by a large margin, so it must be
> > the best. Right? :-)
> >
> > TI gets most of the high volume stuff. ADI gets most of the niche
> > applications. The other suppliers seem to be in terminal decline.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Steve
> >
>
> 2 out of 3 DSPs are in cell phones. If you look at the "Rest of the
> World" market, ADI and TI are the big horses in the race, each with about
> 30% market share. Motorola has been in decline for many years and I don't
> know anyone who uses Agere.
>
> Most of us are either TI or ADI partisans. My company is very excited
> about the new Analog Devices' ADSP-21262 Sharc. This is a 32 bit floating
> & fixed point DSP that is great for single processor emebedded
> applications. It is especially strong for digital audio applications.
>
> As a ADI partisan, I have always liked the readable assembly language of
> the ADI DSPs. Even if you want to use C for DSP, learning the assembly
> language of the target DSP is important. I think that it is easier to
> program an ADI DSP. Instructions execute in one cycle and the pipelines
> are short. It is my understanding that with the TI DSPs, you better trust
> your tools, because the VLIW makes it very hard for a human to write
> efficient code at the assembly level.
>
> All of the newer DSPs are fast and similar parts can probably solve the
> same problems. If you want a transferable skill set, I would stick to TI
> or ADI.
>
> So here's the bottom line:
>
> 1. Use ADI
> 2. Buy your boards from Danville
> 3. Don't listen to those other guys.
>
> Now that that's settled, we can move on to easier questions like
> religion, politics, best sports teams, etc.....

Hey Al,

I see in the "medium iron" embedded board world that folks are now offering
boards with FPGAs as the "engine" and provide all of the periphery.  Any
comments?  Who is using?  Where's it going? etc.  It suggests a trend.  Do
you think it is or is it just a Flash in the Pan Going Awry?

Fred


0
Fred
12/20/2003 4:24:38 PM
"Fred Marshall" <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> wrote in
news:IP6dnfjxeuTS5XmiRVn-jw@centurytel.net: 

> 
> "Al Clark" <dsp@danvillesignal.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns945762C8FE47Daclarkdanvillesignal@66.133.130.30...
>> steveu@coppice.org (Steve Underwood) wrote in
>> news:80bddbd7.0312200627.1f32171c@posting.google.com:
>>
>> > petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote in message
>> > news:<fb59c1e4.0312191925.6cf521c5@posting.google.com>...
>> >> There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI,
>> >> Analog Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
>> >> architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
>> >>
>> >> Thanks.........dp
>> >
>> > Easy. TI. Its outsells all the others by a large margin, so it must
>> > be the best. Right? :-)
>> >
>> > TI gets most of the high volume stuff. ADI gets most of the niche
>> > applications. The other suppliers seem to be in terminal decline.
>> >
>> > Regards,
>> > Steve
>> >
>>
>> 2 out of 3 DSPs are in cell phones. If you look at the "Rest of the
>> World" market, ADI and TI are the big horses in the race, each with
>> about 30% market share. Motorola has been in decline for many years
>> and I don't know anyone who uses Agere.
>>
>> Most of us are either TI or ADI partisans. My company is very excited
>> about the new Analog Devices' ADSP-21262 Sharc. This is a 32 bit
>> floating & fixed point DSP that is great for single processor
>> emebedded applications. It is especially strong for digital audio
>> applications. 
>>
>> As a ADI partisan, I have always liked the readable assembly language
>> of the ADI DSPs. Even if you want to use C for DSP, learning the
>> assembly language of the target DSP is important. I think that it is
>> easier to program an ADI DSP. Instructions execute in one cycle and
>> the pipelines are short. It is my understanding that with the TI
>> DSPs, you better trust your tools, because the VLIW makes it very
>> hard for a human to write efficient code at the assembly level.
>>
>> All of the newer DSPs are fast and similar parts can probably solve
>> the same problems. If you want a transferable skill set, I would
>> stick to TI or ADI.
>>
>> So here's the bottom line:
>>
>> 1. Use ADI
>> 2. Buy your boards from Danville
>> 3. Don't listen to those other guys.
>>
>> Now that that's settled, we can move on to easier questions like
>> religion, politics, best sports teams, etc.....
> 
> Hey Al,
> 
> I see in the "medium iron" embedded board world that folks are now
> offering boards with FPGAs as the "engine" and provide all of the
> periphery.  Any comments?  Who is using?  Where's it going? etc.  It
> suggests a trend.  Do you think it is or is it just a Flash in the Pan
> Going Awry? 
> 
> Fred
> 
> 
> 

I think that most of the FPGA DSP boards are aimed at very high speed 
applications where a particular algorithm can be essentially hard wired. 
Most of these boards use general purpose DSPs as well.

Our focus is in midrange embedded applications. In many cases the DSPs 
are more powerful than the application requires. This means that features 
like peripheral support, ease of programming, etc. become more of a 
driving force. It is usually much easier to program a general purpose DSP 
to do whatever you want, than use an FPGA target. 

One of the comments, I heard at last March's GSPx conference is that DSPs 
have been increasing in processing power faster than Moore's Law for the 
last several years. This constantly forces the DSP/FPGA tradeoff to be 
reexamined. The biggest loser in this contest are ASICs. Mask charges 
have been growing at a fast rate, often in the million dollar area, which 
makes programmable devices increasingly more attractive. This comment was 
made by numerous industry leaders at GSPx, including members of both the 
DSP and FPGA factions.

This brings up a different kind of discussion: As targets become 
increasingly programmable, how should software IP be sold, licensed, 
developed, etc?

For example, if I purchase a dedicated decoder IC, I am generally paying 
for the use of the embedded IP along with the silicon. This is not always 
so easy, when the IC is a general purpose part and the IP is often 
created by a third party. I know many companies in vertical markets have 
difficulties with this issue, since they may not need large volumes of 
the parts. It doesn't help if the IC is $20 and the IP license is $50,000 
for these customers. On the other hand, the IP guys need a vehicle to get 
paid for their work.

Back to your question....

I think that FPGAs are a very legitimate adjunct to DSP processing and I 
don't expect them to go away in this context, but I expect that general 
purpose DSPs will still be used for most targets.



-- 
Al Clark
Danville Signal Processing, Inc.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Purveyors of Fine DSP Hardware and other Cool Stuff
Available at http://www.danvillesignal.com
0
Al
12/20/2003 5:18:53 PM
"Fred Marshall" <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> wrote in message
news:IP6dnfjxeuTS5XmiRVn-jw@centurytel.net...
>
> "Al Clark" <dsp@danvillesignal.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns945762C8FE47Daclarkdanvillesignal@66.133.130.30...
> > steveu@coppice.org (Steve Underwood) wrote in
> > news:80bddbd7.0312200627.1f32171c@posting.google.com:
> >
> > > petkevich@yahoo.com (dp) wrote in message
> > > news:<fb59c1e4.0312191925.6cf521c5@posting.google.com>...
> > >> There are 4 major supplier of general purpose DSPs; Agere, TI, Analog
> > >> Devices and Motorola.  Which DSP vendor has the best DSP
> > >> architecture(s), DSPs, tools, support and why?
> > >>
> > >> Thanks.........dp
> > >
> > > Easy. TI. Its outsells all the others by a large margin, so it must be
> > > the best. Right? :-)
> > >
> > > TI gets most of the high volume stuff. ADI gets most of the niche
> > > applications. The other suppliers seem to be in terminal decline.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > Steve
> > >
> >
> > 2 out of 3 DSPs are in cell phones. If you look at the "Rest of the
> > World" market, ADI and TI are the big horses in the race, each with
about
> > 30% market share. Motorola has been in decline for many years and I
don't
> > know anyone who uses Agere.
> >
> > Most of us are either TI or ADI partisans. My company is very excited
> > about the new Analog Devices' ADSP-21262 Sharc. This is a 32 bit
floating
> > & fixed point DSP that is great for single processor emebedded
> > applications. It is especially strong for digital audio applications.
> >
> > As a ADI partisan, I have always liked the readable assembly language of
> > the ADI DSPs. Even if you want to use C for DSP, learning the assembly
> > language of the target DSP is important. I think that it is easier to
> > program an ADI DSP. Instructions execute in one cycle and the pipelines
> > are short. It is my understanding that with the TI DSPs, you better
trust
> > your tools, because the VLIW makes it very hard for a human to write
> > efficient code at the assembly level.
> >
> > All of the newer DSPs are fast and similar parts can probably solve the
> > same problems. If you want a transferable skill set, I would stick to TI
> > or ADI.
> >
> > So here's the bottom line:
> >
> > 1. Use ADI
> > 2. Buy your boards from Danville
> > 3. Don't listen to those other guys.
> >
> > Now that that's settled, we can move on to easier questions like
> > religion, politics, best sports teams, etc.....
>
> Hey Al,
>
> I see in the "medium iron" embedded board world that folks are now
offering
> boards with FPGAs as the "engine" and provide all of the periphery.  Any
> comments?  Who is using?  Where's it going? etc.  It suggests a trend.  Do
> you think it is or is it just a Flash in the Pan Going Awry?

Interesting question that I've toyed with myself.
From what I've been reading/browsing...
It seems like there is a definite push and trend towards having 'soft cores'
on FPGA based engines.
I don't see this happening in the short-term since the software tools for
this type of platform simply isn't available, but I've seen numerous
articles that indicate this trend. So you plonk a huge FPGA on a board and
stick your favorite DSP's core inside of this and then add any other high
speed custom designs in addition. You got yourself a pretty powerful system
if everything else goes smoothly.
It's hard to imagine the kind of software tools that will be needed to
support this as well as the shift in the kind of engineers needed to work on
this kind of platform.

Cheers
Bhaskar


>
> Fred
>
>


0
Bhaskar
12/22/2003 6:26:08 PM
On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 10:26:08 -0800, "Bhaskar Thiagarajan"
<bhaskart@deja.com> wrote:

>> I see in the "medium iron" embedded board world that folks are now
>offering
>> boards with FPGAs as the "engine" and provide all of the periphery.  Any
>> comments?  Who is using?  Where's it going? etc.  It suggests a trend.  Do
>> you think it is or is it just a Flash in the Pan Going Awry?
>
>Interesting question that I've toyed with myself.
>From what I've been reading/browsing...
>It seems like there is a definite push and trend towards having 'soft cores'
>on FPGA based engines.
>I don't see this happening in the short-term since the software tools for
>this type of platform simply isn't available, but I've seen numerous
>articles that indicate this trend. So you plonk a huge FPGA on a board and
>stick your favorite DSP's core inside of this and then add any other high
>speed custom designs in addition. You got yourself a pretty powerful system
>if everything else goes smoothly.

An FPGA DSP core will have poor performance wrt an ASIC DSP core for a
given semiconductor process.
The main advantage of FPGAs comes from the massive amount of parallel
operations that can be done.

This requires a change in thinking for "DSP programmers" who are used
to doing things sequentially on a single threaded machine.

Regards,
Allan.
0
Allan
12/23/2003 1:33:16 AM
Reply: