What’s ARM doing in the DSP market?




ARM has not only revolutionised the embedded processor market in a way Intel could not have imagined 20 years ago.

It is also changing the very different world of digital signal processing (DSP).

Microcontrollers are not designed for real-time processing and so the DSP function has to be added.

Texas Instruments first added DSP elements to its microcontrollers back in 1997.What’s ARM doing in the DSP marketDSP added real-time signal processing which was used in audio and video processing and which has now become a must-have for motor control.

Arguably, the biggest change happened five years ago when ARM entered the digital signal controller market with the Cortex-M4, with its built-in integer DSP, and an optional floating point unit (see block diagram).

Such is the power of the ARM ecosystem, the Cortex-M4 has probably become the de facto standard for basic motor control.

DSP specialist Analog Devices even opted for a Cortex-M4 processor for a motor controller as an alternative to its Blackfin fixed-point DSP.

Analog Devices has now completed the circle by adding an ARM processor to a dual core Sharc floating-point DSP.

It is hoping to use the ARM controller ecosystem, along with the low power dual core DSP to widen the use of floating point DSP in real-time processing applications which currently try to use a system CPU, typically ARM-based processor.

The ARM controller manages the communications interfaces which are crucial in the embedded processor market.

 

For more detail: What’s ARM doing in the DSP market?




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