With the advent of advanced ASIC technologies, a number of mainstream IC products—traditionally using analog circuit techniques—are now being transferred to the digital domain. This transfer of techniques yields increased circuit robustness, cost-efficiency, system integration, and flexibility. Such state-of-the-art ASIC methodologies are also enabling a continuous stream of completely new consumer applications, increasingly based on embedded (re)programmable processor cores like DSPs and microcontrollers.

This overview will focus on the use of embedded DSP technology in high-volume consumer applications. The design challenge for such highly integrated systems is to combine high-functional performance, low-power operation, and low-cost implementation. In this context, a highly flexible and reconfigurable embedded DSP technology is described in an ASIC context, where reuse and short development times are crucial design constraints. An overview of a family of embedded DSP architectures will be given, as well as the techniques applied to combine DSP and other system components in a single chip. A number of concrete IC product examples will be used to illustrate this approach in the application areas of digital audio and telecom terminals.

For more information on DSPs, visit
Adelante Technologies’ Web site.