$10 Sharc released

$10 Sharc released
Richard Ball A $10 floating point digital signal processor has been announced by Analog Devices. The 32-bit ADSP21065L is the latest in the Sharc line of processors, and has a claimed performance of 180Mflops. “The 21065L is part of a roadmap of low cost offerings,” said product manager Tulika Hainsworth. “There’s a generation two of the Sharc at 600Mflops for the same $10 price coming out sometime next year.” Fixed point processors are traditionally cheaper than their floating point counterparts. Designs are first implemented in floating point, where the greater bit range simplifies develop, and are then migrated to a fixed point DSP for cheaper production. The latest Sharc is aimed at making floating point DSPs cheap enough for consumer applications, thereby speeding products’ time-to-market. “One area we’ve been looking at is digital audio, from digital speakers to high-end systems,” said Hainsworth. Other emerging applications include speech recognition, biometrics, industrial control and collision avoidance systems for cars. Both the audio content and the converters used in recording and playback are going to 24-bit, she said. This means DSPs must be at least 24-bits; an application suited to the Sharc. To support audio and video applications such as home theatre, the 21065L has eight I2S output channels for multiple speakers.


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