Electronic Design

Floating-Point SHARC DSP Races For The Masses

In an effort to maintain the SHARC momentum, Analog Devices Inc. has unwrapped the newest member of its 32-bit floating-point family, the ADSP-21161N.

Code-compatible with other family members, the ADSP-21161N delivers 600 MFLOPS at 100 MHz, with 400 Mbytes of sustained I/O bandwidth. It offers 1 Mbit of on-chip dual-ported SRAM, with an SDRAM controller, four serial ports, two 100-Mbyte/s link ports, and an SPI-compatible interface. Other key features include 14 channels of zero-overhead DMA, glueless multiprocessing, 12 general-purpose I/O lines, and a timer. In essence, SHARC's super-Harvard architecture balances memory, I/O, and computational power.

Internal benchmarks show that the single-instruction/multiple-data (SIMD) ADSP-21161N can execute a 1024-point complex FFT (radix 4, with bit reversal) in 90 µs. It also uses 25 cycles to perform 50-tap FIR filtering. While the ADSP-21161N's DSP core uses 1.8 V for operation, the I/Os are designed for a 3.3-V supply. Typical power dissipation at 1.8 V is 1 W.

10 GFLOPS Expected
Looking ahead, ADI's multiprocessing roadmap shows that SHARC performance will be boosted 15 times over in the next few years. This will catapult the processing power from several hundred MFLOPS to 10 GFLOPS. Plus, the DSP supplier hopes to slash the cost of high-performance SHARC DSPs.

For instance, ADI is working on a 1.2-GFLOPS SHARC that's expected to cost under $5.00. This version should take three or four years to develop. ADI aims to expand the application base of floating-point SHARC into the high-volume consumer space, where fixed-point DSPs reign. A SHARC priced under $10.00 debuted a few years ago, and it has since made inroads in professional and high-end audio applications. The $5.00 version will compete with low-cost fixed-point DSPs in mass markets.

Implemented in 0.18-µm CMOS, the ADSP-21161N comes in a 225-ball BGA. Sampling starts next quarter. Production is slated for mid-2001. Development tools are available. In quantities of 1000, it costs $35.00

Analog Devices Inc., One Technology Way, P.O. Box 9106, Norwood, MA 02062-9106; (800) 262-5643; www.analog.com.

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