HOUSTON -- In a move to help DSP customers accelerate development of real-time applications with more powerful processors, Texas Instruments Inc. today introduced a next-generation software kernel and enhanced compiler tools for its TMS320 series of digital signal processors. The new compiler tools and real-time kernel provide additional support for TI's recently introduced C55x and very-long instruction word (VLIW) C64x DSP cores (see Feb. 22 story).
TI said the new DSP/BIOS II real-time kernel gives developers greater flexibility, scalability, and additional support for code written in self-contained modules, which simplifies creation of complex operations. The new real-time DSP kernel also adds support for interoperable program components, such as network stacks, imaging processing, and audio/video compression, according to managers with TI's Houston-based DSP operation.
The new development tools contain a profile-based compiler and a visual linker which are intended to ease the job of software optimization. The visual linker, available for the C5000 of DSPs, is the industry's first fully graphical linking tool and memory display, said TI. The company also said it has improved its C compiler and compile tools to help DSP programmers produce more efficient code in less time, especially for products using the VLIW-based C6000 series of processors.
According to TI, the profile-based compiler can cut weeks from development time in the development of advanced products based on its DSP chips.
"Yesterday's 100-line assembly programs are becoming 10,000 or 100,000 lines of C code, and engineers cannot develop software fast enough," said Dan Davis, product manager for DSP/BIOS II. He said up to 80% of DSP engineering costs are now related to software development.
TI expects its new DSP software tools and kernel to help trim development time by more than 50%. TI has eliminated run-time licensing fees for the new kernel. In the past, DSP custo mers have paid thousands of dollars in these licensing fees.
The DSP/BIOS II kernel, vidsual linker and profile-based compiler come in TI's upgraded Code Composer Studio 1.2 development environment. A complete integrated development environment for either the C5000 or C6000 DSP platforms costs $2,995 (including the new kernel and no run-time licensing fees). Compile tools for either family are also available separately for $1,495. Debug tools can be purchased for $1,995.