Adam Roman

Freescale, offer small ultra low-power DSP56300 DSPs to compete with TI's miniDSP - You'll win!!

Discussion created by Adam Roman on May 2, 2012
Latest reply on Aug 26, 2012 by Christian Langen

Hi, all.  I am a long-time user and fan of the good old DSP56000 and DSP56300 families, and am disappointed at the current non-existant roadmap for this timeless classic that need not die.  There is a current market here!  There are a couple of companies offering ultra small and power efficient 24-bit fixed-point DSPs for the mobile market - CSR with the Kalimba DSP, TI offering the miniDSP inside some of their mobile codecs (but NO programming info!!), and some others no one cares about.  Freescale, you could lead the market with this one and keep the family alive by offering something like the DSP56374 with the EFCOP module in a tiny BGA or QFN package, redesigned with extremely low quiescent and active current consumption.  You have the world's largest codebase for a 24-bit fixed point DSP that may be outdated and limited for high-end and pro-audio applications, but NOT for the mobile market!  MP3, Bluetooth audio/video devices, etc. need 24-bit fixed point (that great engineers worldwide already know and love).  For portable audio and telephony,16-bit is too low, 32-bit is overkill.  Other companies realize this architecture is perfect in a new market segment, why not you who have the best one?  Update your development software with all the nice, friendly graphical modules people like to configure, drag, and drop, but still allow the use of TONS of classic, efficient DSP code (mostly written in a great parallel assembly language).  And go beyond audio processing, and think about use with an 8- or 16-bit microcontroller...  Small MPUs don't often include great math capabilities, though sometimes it's very useful - signal-conditioning for sensors is just one area.  These DSPs don't have to be limited to just audio, if thought of as an audio And general math-coprocessor.  Offer a creative RTOS and design environment with signal processing channels for audio And host data paths, and you have a multi-purpose mobile DSP.  Or integrate it into smart wireless chips or sensors or codecs to keep cost down.  Or add a camera port to support tiny camera modules (like the OmniVision OVM7690).  Just don't forget about it!!  If your dual-core product sales make you hesitant, just realize that it's no longer meant to be the performance DSP it once was; it's infinately more suited for medium- to high-end mobile products if size and power-consumption allow.  24-bit fixed point (with double-precision support) is still the way to go for very many designs, and you still have the best!  Thanks in advance for the consideration!


-Adam Roman