October 14, 2010 -- Although signal processing is usually associated with digital signal processors, it is becoming increasingly evident that FPGAs are taking over as the platform of choice in the implementation of high-performance, high-precision signal processing. For many such applications, the choice generally boils down to using either a single FPGA, a FPGA with an associated DSP processor or a farm of DSP processors.
While it is generally understood that DSP processors can be programmed in C — leading to a much simpler development flow — this advantage is quickly dissipated when the design has to be partitioned across either multiple DSP processors or between a DSP processor and a FPGA. The truth is that a single DSP processor lacks the performance to do the signal processing required by most infrastructure systems.
This then requires system designers to make a choice between using multiple DSP processors or a FPGA. The latter choice almost always results in the lowest system cost/ power implementation.
By Suhel Dhanani. (Dhanani is a Senior Manager in the software, embedded and DSP marketing group at Altera Corp.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
Keywords: FPGAs, field programmable gate arrays, FPGA design, IP, intellectual property, cores, DSP, digital signal processing, digital signal processors, DSP cores, EE Times Signal Processing DesignLine, Altera,