The DIPSAP project is targeted at providing a European-sourced high-performance programmable Digital Signal Processor (DSP) which is designed to meet the stringent demands of the space environment, thereby placing Europe in the vanguard of an open world market. However, the scope of exploitation of the project results is extended into much wider markets by enhancing the DSP with additional functionality and interfaces to provide systems suitable for applications specific processing solutions in, for example, automotive and robotics industries. By performing the design activities under the umbrella of OMI, standards are established which will allow future developments in microelectronics to be incorporated without the need for expensive redesign stages.
A clear requirement and unsatisfied market for digital signal processor (DSP) based units has been identified for the application areas being investigated. Although the individual requirements for specific applications are diverse, a common requirement for a 32 bit floating point DSP device has been identified. The requirements have been grouped into 2 classes corresponding to moderate (less than 20 Mflops), mono DSP and high (greater than 20 Mflops) multi DSP processing performance. Such a DSP device would also fulfil many of the requirements of neighbouring application areas (aeronautic, nuclear, etc).
The network system architecture and corresponding DSP processing elements are the presently preferred multiprocessor solution. Communication links should be based on those being developed within the OMI/HIC project. A combination with a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processor such as the SMILE/SPARC processor is highly desirable. A good basis tool to support simulation of data flow dominated processing architectures is the DSP Station.
The most attractive (technical, technological, commercial) candidate digital signal processor has been identified. Licensing proposals are being evaluated. It is important that the DSP device be available in the different technologies suited to the specific requirements and characteristics of the final markets (space, industrial, automotive): low volume, high price and radiation hardened devices for space, and high quantity low price devices for industrial/automotive applications. Similar technology independence requirements must be placed on any other OMI/Eurocell cells needed for a complete development.
The DIPSAP-I project represents the feasibility phase of a longer-term project. Under the feasibility phase, major technical (performance requirements, application constraints, interface requirements), production (component and process availability, software support, risks) and commercial (licensing, applications, market type and value) aspects are studied to assess the feasibility of developing a DSP for the above applications.
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