DSP options to accelerate your DSP+FPGA design

by Suhel Dhanani, Altera Corporation , TechOnline India - October 20, 2010

Although signal processing is usually associated with digital signal processors, it is becoming increasingly evident that FPGAs are taking over as the platform of choice in the implementation of high-performance, high-precision signal processing.

Although signal processing is usually associated with digital signal processors, it is becoming increasingly evident that FPGAs are taking over as the platform of choice in the implementation of high-performance, high-precision signal processing.

For many such applications, the choice generally boils down to using either a single FPGA, a FPGA with an associated DSP processor or a farm of DSP processors.

While it is generally understood that DSP processors can be programmed in C – leading to a much simpler development flow – this advantage is quickly dissipated when the design has to be partitioned across either multiple DSP processors or between a DSP processor and a FPGA. The truth is that a single DSP processor lacks the performance to do the signal processing required by most infrastructure systems.

This then requires system designers to make a choice between using multiple DSP processors or a FPGA. The latter choice almost always results in the lowest system cost/power implementation.

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