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Chapter 29: Getting Started with DSPs

The ADSP-2106x family

In the last chapter we looked at the general operation of the ADSP-2106x "SHARC" family of Digital Signal Processors. Table 29-1 shows the various members of this family. All these devices use the same architecture, but have different amounts of on-chip memory, a key factor in deciding which one to use. Memory access is a common bottleneck in DSP systems. The SHARC DSPs address this by providing an ample supply of on-chip dual-ported SRAM. However, the last thing you want to do is pay for more memory than you need. DSPs often go into cost sensitive products, such as cellular telephones and CD players. In other words, the organization of this family is determined by marketing as well as technology.

The oldest member of this family is the ADSP-21020. This chip contains the core architecture, but does not include on-chip memory or I/O handling. This means it cannot function as a stand-alone computer; it requires external components to be a functional system. The other devices are complete

SHARC, EZ-KIT, EZ-LAB, VisualDSP, EZ-ICE, the SHARC logo, the Analog Devices logo, and the VisualDSP logo are registered trademarks of Analog Devices, Inc.

computers within a single chip. All they require to operate is a source of power, and some way to load a program into memory, such as an external PROM or data link.

Notice in Table 29-1 that even the low-end products have a very significant amount of memory. For instance, the ADSP-21065L has 544 kbits of internal SRAM. This is enough to hold 6-8 seconds of digitized speech (8k samples per second, 8 bits per sample). On the high-end of the family, the ADSP-21060 has a 4 Mbit memory. This is more than enough to store an entire digitized image (512×512 pixels, 8 bits per pixel). If you require even more memory, you easily add external SRAM (or slower memory) to any of these devices.

In addition to memory, there are also differences between these family members in their I/O sections. The ADSP-21060 and ADSP-21062 (the high-end) each have six link ports. These are 4 bit wide parallel connections for combining DSPs in multiprocessing systems, and other applications that require flexible high-speed I/O. The ADSP-21061 and ADSP-21065L (the low-end) do not have link ports, but feature more DMA channels to assist in their serial port operation. You will also see these part numbers with an "L" or "M" after them, such as "ADSP-21060L." This indicates that the device operates from a voltage lower than the traditional 5.0 volts. For

instance, the ADSP-21060L operates from 3.3 volts, while the ADSP-21160M uses only 2.5 volts.

In June 1998, Analog Devices unveiled the second generation of its SHARC architecture, with the announcement of the ADSP-21160. This features a Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD, or "sim-dee") core architecture operating at 100 MHz, an accelerated memory bus bandwidth of 1600 megabytes per second, two 64 bit data busses, and four 80-bit accumulators for fixed point calculations. All totaled, the new ADSP-21160M executes a 1024 point FFT in only 46 microseconds. The SIMD DSP contains a second set of computational units (arithmetic and logic unit, barrel shifter, data register file, and multiplier), allowing ADI to maintain backward code compatibility with the ADSP-2106x family, while providing a road-map to up to ten times higher performance.

Next Section: The SHARC EZ-KIT Lite