Have you ever heard of a DSP? Chances are you have. Digital Signal
Processors are found frequently in various audio products, and
increasingly, in more and more mobile products. Texas Instruments is now
looking to expand the reach of their DSPs in a big way. Just as solid
state storage struck new ground by becoming compatible with PCI Express
(Fusion-io!), DSPs may soon be functioning there as well. PLX Technology
has just announced a collaboration with TI that will eventually result
in a solution that brings DSPs and PCI Express 2.0 together.
The goal here is to broaden the capabilities of new
designs in applications such as wireless infrastructure communications,
DSP farms, digital media, test and measurement, medical imaging and
industrial automation.Today, PLX offers up over 40 PCIe switches with multiple lane and port
configurations; bard and system designers can
take full advantage of the latest PCIe specification’s bidirectional
8Gbp/s per lane, thus enabling one PLX 48-lane Gen3 switch to handle
96Gbp/s of full peer-to-peer bandwidth.
Over on the TI side, their new TMS320C66x generation of multicore
devices are enhanced with PCIe Gen2. Ideal for applications that demand
high performance and low power, the C66x DSPs are built with multiple
1.25 GHz DSP cores and deliver the industry’s first 10-GHz DSP with 320
GMACs and 160 GFLOPs of combined fixed- and floating-point performance
on a single device. Furthermore, the company already integrates PCIe
into many of their DaVinci digital media processors, the C6-Integra
DSP+ARM processors and Sitara ARM microprocessors.
It's hard to say what kind of consumer impact this will have, but
enabling something like this really does open up a new door for
computing. PCIe cards now have the capability to integrate DSPs (or,
they will after this partnership plays out), and we think it's only a
matter of time before something very interesting pops up on graphics
cards that use PCIe to interface with mainboards.