Simi Valley, Calif. - Innovative Integration Inc.'s latest digital signal processor-based board offers floating-point DSP operation and bus bandwidth that's claimed to be seven times greater than in its predecessors. The Conejo board incorporates a high-end Texas Instruments Inc. DSP chip for scientific and industrial applications requiring efficient data acquisition, playback and coprocessing.
Conejo is aimed at data-intensive applications such as machine control, video-data monitoring, RF power control and optical-fiber alignment. Its number-crunching capabilities and high bus bandwidth suit the board to lower-volume scientific and industrial servo-type applications, rather than higher-volume, commodity-type applications, its engineers said.
"In the scientific community, where our products live, customers can't deal with fixed-point, inexpensive, low-power products," said Jim Henderson, president of Innovative Integration. "They need high-performance products to enable them to get their jobs done as rapidly as possible."
The Conejo board features TI's 150-MHz TMS320C6711 floating-point DSP, 32 Mbytes of SDRAM, four 14-bit analog input channels at 10 MHz, four 16-bit analog output channels at 10 MHz and a 32-bit/64-bit, 3-V/5-V 33-MHz PCI interface that provides a large, flexible data path to the host PC. The 300-Mbit/s DSP bus is surrounded with high-performance interfaces that preserve bus and CPU bandwidth, thus keeping the processor available for end-user signal-processing work.
Bus bandwidth of about 75 MHz makes the board about seven times faster than its predecessors. "It takes about one-seventh the amount of time to move data as it did on our previous generations," Henderson noted. "That's a huge amount of bandwidth that can be given back to user application programs."
Conejo also makes use of the TMS320C6000 architecture for connecting high-speed converters directly to the DSP. The chip was also chosen because it takes advantage of the floating-point arithmetic needed for high-dynamic-range processing. Innovative Integration's engineers say that this combination of features allows users to capture and analyze high-frequency signals for wireless, ultrasound and high-speed control applications. As such, Conejo can be used in RF power control, ultrafast servo control and interpretation of signals for radar, GPS, video and high-speed physics test gear.
One key to Conejo's performance is the C6711's cache control scheme. "The cache controller is so effective, and its performance is so close to that of on-chip memory, that it allows developers to code in blissful ignorance of any memory constraints at all," Henderson said.
On the software side, Innovative Integration has embraced TI's DSP/BIOS foundation and provides BIOS device drivers for all its board peripherals. The company says the DSP/BIOS context accelerates system deployment by letting end users focus their efforts on their applications, instead of spending time learning the increasingly complex architecture of the DSP and other ICs around it. Users control board operation through DSP/BIOS drivers, and can deploy multitask programs much faster while ensuring that CPU and bus bandwidth are preserved. "Previous generations of boards didn't have an operating system on them," Henderson said. "An OS wouldn't have fit comfortably into the on-chip memory space."
The Conejo Development Package includes the Conejo card, the Code Composer Studio integrated development environment from TI, the Code Hammer JTAK Emulator and the Pismo tool set for Conejo. The Conejo board is listed at $3,495.
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