Texas Instruments DSP Projects


The Texas Instruments range included the TMS320C6201 integer VLIW DSP, and the TMS320C6701, which was the floating point equivalent, however, most of the imaging evaluation was on the PCI board with the 6201. The above processors ran at 133 or 200 MHz, with a jumper to select the different crystals. A short while later, Texas Instruments would bring out a very low-cost 6211 evaluation board. The work other than the 6211 was as a contractor in 2000 and 2001, but the 6211 was for performance evaluation for private projects.

The evaluation included detailed compiler output examination, modifying the assembly to run more instructions in parallel, as well as debug at the assembler level. The 62xx and 6701 could execute eight instructions simultaneously, and if the data could fit into on-chip memory, then the throughput was indeed impressive.

Dual-core ARM-DSP

In 2009, becalmed in the middle of the eye of the global financial storm, we bought a Spectrum Digital/ Texas Instruments OMAP-L137 board to evaluate the ARM, however, the DSP came up first and we ended up writing for the 674xx compatible VLIW DSP. We did not test any DSP algorithms, but programmed the on-board and on-chip peripherals in C. From the software view of the board (without interrupts enabled), the code was no different to that of any RISC. The processor can access bytes on any boundary. We are not sure if the promised Linux port ever shipped for the L137 board, but two years on, it is “shelfware” as newer devices are just so much more capable — the technology treadwheel never stops!

Future DSP Projects

Texas Instruments have really impressive devices with low-cost evaluation boards. If you have any imaging applications you would like to benchmark on some of the newer TMS320C66xx devices, we are prepared to invest in the hardware, however, we will split the learning curve costs for the architecture.