TI unveils new digital signal processor architecture

In an effort to chart a new course for embedded computing, Texas Instruments (TI) on March 23 introduced its new 100-MIPS digital signal processor (DSP) architecture, which company officials say makes microcontrollers (MCUs) obsolete.Called TMS320C2700, the new architecture is reported to unite in a single device the flexibility, ease-of-use, and cost efficiency of MC...

04/01/1998


In an effort to chart a new course for embedded computing, Texas Instruments (TI) on March 23 introduced its new 100-MIPS digital signal processor (DSP) architecture, which company officials say makes microcontrollers (MCUs) obsolete.

Called TMS320C2700, the new architecture is reported to unite in a single device the flexibility, ease-of-use, and cost efficiency of MCUs with high performance DSPs. However, TI officials report the architecture's 100 MHz operation combines with the DSP's capabilities to provide about 10 times the performance of traditional MCUs while still reducing system costs.

The "C2700'' is expected to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) build real-time, embedded applications faster and at lower cost. For example, by combining signal processing and control functions in a single chip, the new architecture will allow OEMs to replace two processors with one or upgrade MCUs to DSP while eliminating supporting functions, such as sensors and application-specific integrated circuits. As a result, OEMs will no longer pay a penalty in programming time, code size, or cost for having both a DSP and a MCU in a system. They'll also be able to implement more demanding real-time applications, and write all code in a high-level language, such as C.

C2700's abilities stem from its combination of DSP high-speed multiply-and-accumulate operations with intense I/O operations seen in MCUs. The result is one device that can provide the high-speed number crunching needed for real-time signal processing, as well as the fast context switch and data manipulation needed for control tasks.

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