By Frank Wells
Barcelona, Spain (June 1, 2005)–Texas Instruments (TI) has unveiled the C672x series of DSP, tailored for high-resolution audio applications, and is taking orders as of AES Barcelona with prototypes immediately available and bulk parts shipping Q3 of 2005. TI’s worldwide marketing manager for DSP audio solutions, Gerard Andrews, says the line offers, “everything necessary, nothing extra” for audio-specific applications, and that all the enhancements are “audio-driven.”
The series boasts up to 130 MFLOPS per dollar, a marked increase in performance at a reduction in price from TI’s previous offerings–and considered by TI to best the competition–reportedly near double a competitor’s next-generation part, not yet in production. Andrews says that TI is poised to compete vigorously in the competitive, and somewhat entrenched, DSP market in part by offering an alternative to those poised to move away from legacy fixed-point processor series. Also, crafting code for the series is attractive through C-compiler support as opposed to arduous, machine-code level programming.
Additional C672x series performance enhancement comes from TI’s dMAX peripheral technology that allows parameter gathering without using CPU cycles, while its McASP allows up to 16 channels of serial communication per instance, both tuned for audio use. Coding efficiencies are also credited with providing yet more value, meaning that within the processing budget, tasks can be performed more efficiently and more tasks can be performed allowing greater application development headroom.
The flagship TMS320C6727 features a 300 MHz core processor, large onboard memory and three McASPs. In quantity, the chip will run under $20 per part, compared to a $30+ price for their older 300 MHz part. In partnership with Lyrtech, a pro audio developer’s kit is available fully equipped with analog, digital (coax and optical), USB and MIDI interfaces. High-level “code generation tools,” in the form of TI’s eXpressDSP software and development tools are also available to aid in software design.
Along with TI’s Burr Brown series of audio and conversion parts, these third-generation, floating-point DSP chips build on TI’s 6000 Series legacy. There are also manufacturer alliances, including Dolby Labs, Echo, Neural Audio, Denon, Alesis, Dell, Creative Labs and numerous others across the portable audio, digital radio, car audio, home theater and professional audio markets.