Saturday, January 8, 2011

DSP Enhanced FPGA

Rapid advances in silicon technology and high demand of multimedia applications on wireless networks have spurred the research anddevelopment of computationally intensive signal processing and communication systems on FPGAs and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs).
These advancements also offer mystical solutions to historically intractable signal processing problems resulting in major new market opportunities and trends. Traditionally for signal processing specific applications off the shelf Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) are used. 
Exploiting parallelism in algorithms and mapping them on VLIW processors are tedious and do not always give optimal solution. There are applications where even multiple of these DSPs cannot handle the computational needs of the applications.
Recent advances in speed, density, features and low cost have made FPGA processors offer a very attractive choice for mapping high-rate signal processing and communication systems, specially when the processing requirements are beyond the capabilities of off the shelf DSPs.
In many designs a combination of DSP and FPGA are used. The more structured and arithmetic demanding parts of the application are mapped on the FPGA and less structured parts of the algorithms are mapped on off the shelf DSPs.

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