While suppliers of digital signal processing (DSP) chips and programmable logic may differ over which device type is pre-eminent for new wireless system designs, what is important is what customers are actually implementing. Today, designers are applying a mix of both PLDs and DSP chips to meet market demand. The “intelligent partitioning” between these two device types gives wireless systems the best combination of features and cost-effectiveness.

In addition to meeting design specifications, applying a mix of DSP chips and FPGAs brings a measure of future proofing as well as potential for risk-free cost reduction. This paper expands on these design strategies and provides examples of FPGA-DSP system partitioning for wireless basestations that illustrate why combining programmable logic with DSP can assist designers with their projects.