infoTECH Feature

April 28, 2010

Freescale Unveils New MSC825x Family of Fully Programmable, Scalable DSPs

Freescale Semiconductor announced that it has introduced the MSC825x family of digital signal processors "DSPs," which scales from one to six cores, helps lower system cost by 50 percent and delivers high performance suitable for a broad range of applications in the medical, aerospace/defense and test/measurement markets.

According to a press release, Freescale's new fully programmable DSPs are based on the company's SC3850 StarCore DSP core, which has earned fixed-point BDTImark2000 benchmark score from Berkeley Design Technology, Inc., an independent signal-processing technology analysis firm.

Company officials said in the release that the new family of multicore DSPs delivers the performance of the SC3850 core to additional applications that require high performance, reusable hardware platforms and flexible software architectures.

Scott Aylor, general manager and director of DSP products for networking and multimedia group at Freescale, said, "With the introduction of the MSC825x DSP family, we are extending the value of Freescale's high-performance StarCore technology to additional customers in high-growth markets."

Apart from incorporating four pin-compatible, fully programmable, single-, dual-, four- and six-core DSPs, the new MSC825x family also has integrated features such as multiple DDR controllers, two Serial RapidIO (News - Alert) interfaces and a PCI Express interface.

In addition, the MSC825x family's processing performance facilitates additional channels for TETRA base stations, as well as advanced measurement capabilities for wireless communication testers.

The MSC8256 device is based on six SC3850 StarCore DSP cores running at 1 GHz on a single die delivering 6 GHz of raw DSP performance. Complete memory support includes two 64-bit DDR3 running at 800 MHz to enable fast system throughput for multicore DSPs. In addition, it features a rich peripheral set that includes 2x Serial RapidIO (4 lane) and PCI (News - Alert) Express x4 interfaces. This enables fast communication between FPGA and DSP to DSP.

Aylor added, "Manufacturers of medical, aerospace/defense and test/measurement equipment can look forward to significant cost savings and outstanding performance from Freescale's newest family of programmable DSPs."

Freescale is also providing a full set of development tools and enablement software for the MSC825x devices. Among them, the CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment "IDE" utilizes Eclipse technology for easy programmability and it also includes C and C++ optimizing compilers, a source level debugger, core and device simulators, software analysis plug-ins for profiling and program/data trace, and the royalty-free SmartDSP-OS operating system delivered with optimized device drivers. Even, development boards are offered to enable software development. Customers can test their applications by making use of MSC8156 and MSC825x application development board or the MSC8156AMC card.

The MSC825x devices' suggested resale price is $75 USD in quantities of 1,000 and the production is planned for Q3 2010.

Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Alice Straight

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