Electronic Design

DSP C Compiler Raises The Bar In Code Density

The StarCore Technology Center, a cooperative research and development initiative between Agere Systems and Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector, has released version 2.0 of the C compiler for its SC100 DSP core family. Several major areas of the compiler were streamlined to substantially improve the compiled code density.

This latest version provides an approximately 45% improvement in control code density over the previous edition. Since control code typically encompasses up to 80% of the lines of code written in many DSP applications, this substantially enhances the overall performance of the new compiler, the developer claims. StarCore's goal is to keep DSP experts from having to touch this code, asserts marketing manager Scott Beach.

Additionally, this version has been released to Agere Systems and Motorola for inclusion into their respective software development environments. As a result, Agere Systems has integrated version 2.0 into its LuXWorks DSP integrated development environment (IDE). Likewise, Motorola is packing it with the Metrowerks' CodeWarrior IDE.

Version 2.0 of the SC100 C compiler outperforms competing 32- and 16-bit DSP cores, StarCore says. The measurements were performed using Motorola's Powerstone suite of 14 control code benchmarks, which include DES, JPEG, and V42.bis. These applications are typical of those run on a microcontroller, Beach notes. Internal results indicate that the code density is 41% smaller than TI's 16-bit C55x (version 2.0) tools, and 19% smaller than ARM Thumb microcontroller (version STD2.5) tools.

Key improvements include additional intelligent inlining, the forming of intelligent multiplication sequences based on size and type of operands, more efficient instruction encodings, improved instruction scheduling, and a more efficient prologue/epilogue. Plus, newer techniques to optimize branches and global register allocations were implemented to raise the bar for compiled code density.

For more information, go to www.starcore-dsp.com, or to the individual companies' Web sites at www.agere.com and www.motorola.com.

TAGS: Digital ICs
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