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Low power and cost DSP subsystems for portable products

Exploitable results

Mistral 2 is a high-level synthesis tool for digital signal processing (DSP) applications, enhanced for low-power designs. It helps designers determine the optimal trade-off between power, area and speed, reducing design times while allowing increased design optimization. Mistral 2 is embedded in DSP Station, an overall commercial DSP design environment supporting all complete front-end design steps including specification, analysis, optimization and architecture-synthesis. Starting from a behavioural description, Mistral 2 allows design of an architecture for an algorithm or class of related algorithms, together with the code that executes the algorithm. The tool synthesises the design using a library of architecture-level building blocks. This library includes blocks designed specifically for low power and the designer can add custom modules. Mistral 2 generates analysis views, used by the designer along with design parameter estimations of area, speed and power consumption for the target application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) library, to gauge trade-offs. Specific optimizations have been included, which also help designers achieve low power, while new transformations can be invoked which provide more flexibility in trade-off decisions. The tool automatically generates a standard architecture description (very high speed integrated circuit hardware description language, VHDL, or Verilog), which can be implemented by conventional logic synthesis.