Suhel Dhanani, Altera Corporation
EETimes (10/14/2010 2:56 PM EDT)
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.
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