Electronic Design

Power-Aware DSPs, Development Tools Bolster Portable-System Efficiency

Portable-system power consumption, a persistently prickly issue, should get some much-needed help from a trio of power-savvy DSP chips and several power-management design tools.

These DSPs include the TMS320C-5503, 5507, and 5509A. Each operates at clock speeds of up to 200 MHz. They consume as little as 58 mW (DSP core and memory blocks only) when running at 108 MHz and only 0.12 mW on standby, both with a 1.2-V supply. Internal power-management features turn various on-chip peripherals on and off via software.

Taking advantage of the power-management features, Texas Instruments' eXpressDSP power design tools let designers optimize power consumption. Included power-planning tools incorporate chip-specific data to accurately plan "net" power consumption. Among the enhancements to the Code Composer Studio integrated development environment are a power-scaling library and dynamic control of the run-time core frequency and voltage.

An available real-time power-management kernel has been integrated into TI's DSP/BIOS. National Instruments' application power-measurement tool enables designers to visually measure and analyze power. It leverages the EVM320C5509A evaluation module from Spectrum Digital or target prototypes.

The power-planning tool is available as a free Web download. The power scaling library and DSP/BIOS power manager are included in Code Composer Studio. The NI application power tool costs $800. Free evaluation software can be downloaded at www.ni.com. The Spectrum Digital EV board sells for $1495.

All three DSP chips share many common features, yet they differ in on-chip RAM and other resources. The 5503 packs 64 kbytes of RAM, while the 5507 doubles that to 128 kbytes and adds a USB 2.0 port and a 500-µs 10-bit analog-to-digital converter. The 5509A doubles the RAM to 256 kbytes and adds two MMC/SD memory-card interfaces. In lots of 10,000, the 5503, 5507, and 5509A cost $7.50, $10.50, and $16 each, respectively.

Texas Instruments

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