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General-purpose microprocessor performance for DSP applications

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2 Author(s)
Barkdull, J.N. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Utah Univ., Salt Lake City, UT, USA ; Douglas, S.C.

Digital signal processors (DSPs) have been used to realize real-time signal processing systems using hardware architectures and software instruction sets that are optimized for such applications. However, general-purpose microprocessors have risen in capability to the point that they can serve as alternative platforms for digital signal processing applications, particularly for audio-rate systems. This paper compares the capabilities of two general-purpose microprocessors-the Apple/IBM/Motorola PowerPC 604 and Intel Pentium PB-with the popular Texas Instruments' TMS320C40 DSP on a suite of three common signal processing subsystems: (i) a finite-impulse-response (FIR) filter, (ii) the least-mean-square (LMS) adaptive filter, and (iii) the fast Fourier transform (FFT). Careful attention is paid to the architectures of the processors to obtain the most computationally-efficient realizations. The results indicate that general-purpose microprocessors are viable computational engines for audio-rate processing.

Published in:

Signals, Systems and Computers, 1996. Conference Record of the Thirtieth Asilomar Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-6 Nov. 1996