It's long been common for DSP application developers to begin with a Matlab representation of their software. The problem has been the tough ride from algorithm to implementation. The latest generation of CoWare's SPW, a tool for DSP application development, improves that ride by offering tight integration with Matlab. The new version, SPW 5-XP, is also distinguished by the fact that it runs under Windows XP.
Moreover, CoWare has partnered with AccelChip, yielding integration between SPW and AccelChip's DSP Synthesis tool that results in a full DSP design and verification flow (see the figure). The integration is with the current version of SPW (SPW 4). Support is planned for SPW 5-XP.
Eventually, DSP design teams produce detailed C-based reference models for their application, which is then handed off for implementation. SPW 5-XP offers a seamless flow from Matlab with a fast simulation interface for Matlab blocks to drastically accelerate system simulation. Users can bring up Matlab from within SPW 5-XP to analyze simulation results.
The tool's XML database is open and extendable, enabling CoWare to integrate SPW 5-XP with other design tools supporting implementation on DSPs, FPGAs, and systems-on-a-chip. Also, a new GUI offers a Windows look and feel as well as simpler usage. Its compact, tabbed design view reduces the number of mouse clicks required for navigation.
The integration between SPW and AccelChip's DSP Synthesis lets designers use SPW to simulate their floating-point Matlab algorithms. They can then employ DSP Synthesis to produce fixed-point Matlab from the original algorithm and then synthesize Verilog or VHDL RTL from the fixed-point Matlab file.
SPW 5-XP for Windows will ship in November. Introductory pricing starts at $2700 for a one-year subscription. SPW 5 for Linux/Unix will be released in 2005.