BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks™

The industry's first and only independent benchmarks for digital signal processing


The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks are the most widely used digital signal processing benchmarks in the world. Nearly every major vendor or buyer of processors for DSP uses this benchmark suite.

Why? Because they are the only vendor-independent suite of digital signal processing benchmarks. Each benchmark is carefully designed by BDTI’s team of DSP and benchmarking experts. These benchmarks are recognized industry-wide as trustworthy, reliable, and accurate. And because they are so widely used, BDTI provides a vast pool of benchmark data—giving you the context you need to evaluate a processor’s results.

The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks are a suite of twelve DSP algorithm kernel benchmarks that represent the key building-block operations found in most signal processing applications. These benchmarks are relatively simple and are quick to simulate. The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks measure only the performance of the processor core; they do not evaluate the effects of I/O, peripherals, or external memory. Therefore they are appropriate for both processor chips and licensable processor cores, and can be used to assess performance even when the I/O, peripherals, or external memory have not yet been defined.

The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks are used to generate BDTI’s composite metrics, which include:

  • Speed: The BDTImark2000™
  • Memory use: The BDTImemMark2000™
  • Cost efficiency: The BDTImark2000/$™
  • Area efficiency: The BDTImark2000/mm2™
  • Energy efficiency: The BDTImark2000/Watt™

For results, please visit the listing of BDTI Certified™ benchmark results.

Why Use the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks

The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks are essential for both processor vendors and processor users; each derives unique benefits from using BDTI’s benchmarks.

Benefits for Processor Vendors

If you're a processor vendor you need to convince your customers that your processor has the performance they’re looking for, so you’ll need to provide them with benchmark results. But customers are invariably skeptical of benchmark results from companies that are trying to sell them something. They have no way of knowing whether the results are real and accurate, and whether they are comparable to results from other vendors.

If you use the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks these problems disappear. Processor users recognize the integrity of BDTI’s benchmarks, and they are far more likely to believe your marketing pitch if you have independently certified results to back it up.

BDTI’s benchmarks evaluate all of the key performance metrics, including speed, energy efficiency, cost-performance, and memory use. And because BDTI has benchmarked dozens of processors with this suite, you’ll be able to present apples-to-apples performance comparisons to your competitors—and seal the deal.

Of course, BDTI’s benchmarks are useful for more than marketing; many vendors use the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks to evaluate and improve processor designs that are still in progress.

Benefits for End System and Product Designers

If you're an end product designer trying to select the right processor for your design, you know that choosing the best processor for your product is one of the most important design decisions you’ll make. If you get it wrong, your product may not work as well as you’d hoped—or it may not work at all.

To make a good decision, you’ll need benchmark results. But not just any results will do—you need to know that the results you’re using are trustworthy, unbiased, and accurate.

Most processor vendors provide results for their own processors, but there is no way to know whether those results are comparable to results from other vendors. Some vendors are more careful and fair than others, but few have the resources to create high-quality and technically sound benchmarks, and then implement them across a range of competitor processors.

BDTI has over a decade of experience in developing and implementing signal processing benchmarks, and we are recognized worldwide as the independent benchmarking experts. If you use our benchmark results you’ll be confident that you’re basing your decisions on unbiased performance data. Better yet, you can compare results for many different processors—from many different vendors—easily, quickly, and reliably.

Visit our BDTI Certified™ benchmark results pages to view and compare our composite metrics (e.g., the BDTImark2000™ and the BDTImemMark2000™) results for a variety of processors and cores. These metrics are based on processors’ performance on the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks. If you don’t see results for the chips you need, contact the chip vendor to let them know that you’d like to see BDTI benchmark results for their chips.

Technical Details

The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks comprise 12 digital signal processing algorithm kernels:

The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks™


Description Example Application

Real Block FIR

Finite impulse response filter that operates on a block of real (not complex) data.

Speech processing (e.g., G.728 speech coding).

Complex Block FIR

FIR filter that operates on a block of complex data.

Modem channel equalization.

Real Single-Sample FIR

FIR filter that operates on a single sample of real data.

Speech processing, general filtering.

LMS Adaptive FIR

Least-mean-square adaptive filter; operates on a single sample of real data.

Channel equalization, servo control, linear predictive coding.


Infinite impulse response filter that operates on a single sample of real data.

Audio processing, general filtering.

Vector Dot Product

Sum of the pointwise multiplication of two vectors.

Convolution, correlation, matrix multiplication, multi-dimensional signal processing.

Vector Add

Pointwise addition of two vectors, producing a third vector.

Graphics, combining audio signals or images.

Vector Maximum

Find the value and location of the maximum value in a vector.

Error control coding, algorithms using block floating-point.

Viterbi Decoder

Decode a block of bits that has been convolutionally encoded.

Error control coding.


A sequence of control operations (test, branch, push, pop, and bit manipulation).

Virtually all DSP applications include some control code.

256-Point In-Place FFT

Fast Fourier Transform converts a time-domain signal to the frequency domain.

Radar, sonar, MPEG audio compression, spectral analysis.

Bit Unpack

Unpacks variable-length data from a bit stream.

Audio decompression, protocol handling.

Each kernel is implemented in hand-optimized assembly language on the target processor.

License to the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks

A license to the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks provides:

  • The BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks™ Specification for use in benchmarking one processor
  • Benchmark reference C source code
  • Benchmark reference implementations in assembly code for a representative DSP processor
  • Test vectors for verifying the functionality of BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks implementations
  • One-year license to use the above items for one project
  • Training and technical support

Next Steps

To license the BDTI DSP Kernel Benchmarks, initiate an analysis engagement, or discuss your benchmarking needs, please call us at +1 925 954 1411 or contact us via the web.