Case Study: Digital Signal Processing Library Development Enables Effective Customer Deployments

Submitted by BDTI on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 11:00

The prodigious transistor budgets delivered by modern semiconductor processes enable designers to create powerful processor cores and chips. However, this silicon potential will be for naught if it can't easily be harnessed by algorithm developers. Consider the non-trivial die area and development time consumed by a processor core, along with the notable competitive differentiation that can be accrued by its effective utilization. Clearly, the ease by which coders can gain robust access to silicon capabilities is a critical objective.

As such, a leading SoC developer recently contracted BDTI to assist it in developing a comprehensive software library of functions for its latest digital signal processor core. BDTI "brought to the table" its in-depth understanding of digital signal processing algorithms and applications, its experience with implementation, including software optimization and fixed-point arithmetic issues, and its understanding of software architecture and software development practices. BDTI's software engineering team first identified fundamental building-block digital signal processing functions to provide in the library, given the application areas targeted by the core.

BDTI then designed an API for the library, taking into consideration target application areas, typical coding practices for those applications, the chip company's internal coding guidelines, and other factors. The API encompassed data structures and types, function, parameter and variable naming conventions, function prototype conventions, and error handling conventions.

Next, BDTI defined the prototypes and functionality for each of the digital signal processing library entries. BDTI provided the SoC supplier's software engineers with suggestions for efficient implementation of these functions, including fixed- and floating-point arithmetic behavior. BDTI's support also encompassed helping the implementers understand the needs of digital signal processing application developers and the associated ramifications of various implementation tradeoffs.

Upon successful completion of the project, the SoC vendor received a detailed specification for a software library that it could be confident would meet the needs of its customers across a wide range of applications. And BDTI helped the vendor ensure that it implemented the specification correctly and efficiently. Find out how BDTI can similarly help you and your customers ensure that your processor cores (and chips based on them) achieve their full silicon potential. For more information, contact Jeremy Giddings at +1 (925) 954 1411 or giddings@BDTI.com.

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