The Perfect Storm: Storm-1 DSPs Optimized for Parallel Processing
According to the Stream Processors (SPI) company, specializing in the design of semiconductor microcircuits, its specialists managed to create a digital signal processor, which claims to be the ancestor of a whole class of devices – data-parallel digital signal processor.
More precisely, we are talking not even about one processor, but about a family called Storm-1. So far, the family includes two models: SP16-G160 and SP8-G80.
The processor is based on the SPI Stream Processor Architecture. Thanks to it, the Storm-1 family of products combines the ability to perform billions of multiply-accumulate operations per second (GMACs / s) with a simple and efficient programming model. The family is suitable for a wide range of computationally demanding applications, including high definition video encoding (H.264), data transcoding and analysis, image processing.
Storm-1 SP16-G160 processor performance is at 160 billion. operations per second (GOPS) and 80 GMACs / s. Key processor units – data-parallel units (DPUs). Each of them consists of 16 parallel streams with five arithmetic logic units (ALU). The Storm-1 SP8-G80 has reduced the number of threads to eight. In turn, each ALU has a block capable of performing four eight-bit, two sixteen-bit, or one thirty-two-bit operation during one machine cycle. The input and output data of each stream is stored in a register file integrated in the chip, which is allocated by the compiler taking into account the condition for maximizing the throughput.
To service system tasks, the processor uses the MIPS32 4KEc kernel. The second same core is dedicated to the main digital data processing thread (it is responsible for calling DPU functions). Complements the processor configuration with a rich set of interfaces, including Gigabit Ethernet, PCI and others (I2S, I2C, SPI / SSP / Microwire, UARTS, GPIO). Microcircuits are designed in PBGA packages with dimensions of 31 x 31 mm.
Wholesale price SP16-G160 – $ 99, SP8-G80 – $ 59. Trial samples are still available. Serial production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter.