Algorithms and tools for automatic generation of DSP hardware structures

Pedro Filipe Zeferino Tom´a

The increased complexity of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms demands for the development of more complex and more efficient hardware structures. The work presented herein describes the core components for the development of a tool capable of automatic generation of efficient hardware structures, therefore facilitating developers work. It comprises algorithms and techniques for i) balancing the paths in a graph, ii) scheduling of operations to functional units, iii) allocating registers and iv) generating the VHDL code. Results show that the developed techniques are capable of generating the hardware structure of typical DSP algorithms represented in data-flow graphs with over 2,000 nodes in around 200 ms, scaling to 80,000 nodes in about 214 s. Within the developed techniques, solving the scheduling problem is one of the most complex tasks: it is a NP-complete problem and directly influences the number of functional units and registers required. Therefore, experimental analysis was made on scheduling algorithms for time-constrained problems. Results show that simple list-based algorithms are more efficient in large problems than more complex algorithms: they run faster and tend to require less functional units.

Music Signal Processing

Saeed V. Vaseghi

Chapter 12 of the book "Multimedia Signal Processing: Theory and Applications in Speech, Music and Communications" - Musical Instruments - A Review of Basic Physics of Sound - Music Signal Features and Models - Ear: Hearing of Sounds - Psychoacoustics of Hearing - Music Compression - High Quality Music Coding: MPEG - Stereo Music - Music Recognition

High speed data collection with Blackfin DSP

Axel Alatalo

This report covers a master thesis in embedded systems, the goal of which was to investigate the high speed data collection capabilities with a Blackfin DSP. Basic theory about sampling and noise is covered briefly from a practical point of view. The theory is intended to be useful for those diving into a ADC datasheet for the first time. After an investigation of the delimiting factors, suitable components were selected and a prototype ADC PCB was designed from scratch. The goal is to design a general low noise data collecting unit compatible with the Blackfin DSP. Finally simple DSP software is designed to prove that DSP can handle such a high datastream.Testing the ADC card with the target Blackfin platform indicates thatthe analog parts indeed works. An analog bandwidth of over 10MHz ismeasured at a resolution exceeding 10 bits with respect to noise. The digital parts intended to interleave the two channels digital streams into one Blackfin unit did not work as intended. Only one channel is supported as of now. The report contains suggestions for future work in this area.

Active Noise Control of a Forest Machine Cabin

Mårten Hedborg, Patrik Grylin

Today, a high noise level is considered a problem in many working environments. The main reason is that it contributes to stress and fatigue. Traditional methods using passive noise control is only practicable for high frequencies. As a complement to passive noise control, active noise control (ANC) can be used to reduce low frequency noise. The main idea of ANC is to use destructive interference of waves to cancel disturbing noises. The purpose of this thesis is to design and implement an ANC system in the driver's cabin of a Valmet 890 forest machine. The engine boom is one of the most disturbing noises and therefore the main subjective for the ANC system to suppress. The ANC system is implemented on a Texas Instrument DSP development starter kit. Different FxLMS algorithms are evaluated with feedback and feedforward configurations. The results indicate that an ANC system significantly reduces the sound pressure level (SPL) in the cabin. Best performance of the evaluated systems is achieved for the feedforward FxLMS system. For a commonly used engine speed of 1500 rpm, the SPL is reduced with 17 dB. The results show fast enough convergence and global suppression of low frequency noise.

Evaluation of a Floating Point Acoustic Echo Canceller Implementation

Anders Dahlberg

This master thesis consists of implementation and evaluation of an AEC, Acoustic Echo Canceller, algorithm in a floating-point architecture. The most important question this thesis will try to answer is to determine benefits or drawbacks of using a floating-point architecture, relative a fixed-point architecture, to do AEC. In a telephony system there is two common forms of echo, line echo and acoustic echo. Acoustic echo is introduced by sound emanating from a loudspeaker, e.g. in a handsfree or speakerphone, being picked up by a microphone and then sent back to the source. The problem with this feedback is that the far-end speaker will hear one, or multiple, time-delayed version(s) of her own speech. This time-delayed version of speech is usually perceived as both confusing and annoying unless removed by the use of AEC. In this master thesis the performance of a floating-point version of a normalized least-mean-square AEC algorithm was evaluated in an environment designed and implemented to approximate live telephony calls. An instruction-set simulator and assembler available at the initiation of this master thesis were extended to enable; zero-overhead loops, modular addressing, post-increment of registers and register-write forwarding. With these improvements a bit-true assembly version was implemented capable of real-time AEC requiring 15 million instructions per second. A solution using as few as eight mantissa bits, in an external format used when storing data in memory, was found to have an insignificant effect on the selected AEC implementation’s performance. Due to the relatively low memory requirement of the selected AEC algorithm, the use of a small external format has a minor effect on the required memory size. In total this indicates that the possible reduction of the memory requirement and related energy consumption, does not justify the added complexity and energy consumption of using a floating-point architecture for the selected algorithm. Use of a floating-point format can still be advantageous in speech-related signal processing when the introduced time delay by a subband, or a similar frequency domain, solution is unacceptable. Speech algorithms that have high memory use and small introduced delay requirements are a good candidate for a floating-point digital signal processor architecture.

Decoding Ogg Vorbis Audio with The C6416 DSP, using a custom made MDCT core on FPGA

Henric Kärnhall

Ogg Vorbis is a fairly new and growing audio format, often used for online distribution of music and internet radio stations for streaming audio. It is considered to be better than MP3 in both quality and compression and in the same league as for example AAC. In contrast with many other formats, like MP3 and AAC, Ogg Vorbis is patent and royalty free. The purpose of this thesis project was to investigate how the C6416 DSP processor and a Stratix II FPGA could be connected to each other and work together as co-processors and using an Ogg Vorbis decoder as implementation example. A fixed-point decoder called Tremor (developed by Xiph.Org the creator of the Vorbis I specification), has been ported to the DSP processor and an Ogg Vorbis player has been developed. Tremor was profiled before performing the software / hardware partitioning to decide what parts of the source code of Tremor that should be implemented in the FPGA to off-load and accelerate the DSP.

Development of a real time test platform for motor drive algorithms

Viktor Larsson

In this thesis a real time test platform for a permanent magnet synchronous motor is developed. The implemented algorithm is Field Oriented Control (FOC) and it is implemented on a Texas Instruments TMS320F2808 Digital Signal Processor (DSP). The platform is developed in a rapid prototyping approach using Matlab/Simulink and the Real Time Workshop (RTW) packages.With this software the control algorithm and its interface to different DSP modules, such as A/D converter and PWM module, is constructed as a Simulink block scheme. The blocks used come from ordinary Simulink libraries and libraries provided by the RTW packages. From the Simulink block scheme Matlab can auto generate embedded C code adapted for different embedded targets, in this case the 2808 DSP.The developed real time test platform is also a Simulink model, though different from the algorithm model. When the start simulation command is given in the platform model a Graphical User Interface is loaded which lets the user specify motor parameters and certain algorithm parameters. Once the parameters are chosen RTW generates code from the algorithm model, loads it into the DSP and runs the generated program. From the platform model it is possible to set the reference speed of the motor in real time and monitor/log motor parameters such as actual speed and stator currents.

Optimization of Audio Processing algorithms (Reverb) on ARMv6 family of processors

Farzad Abari

Audio processing algorithms are increasingly used in cell phones and today’s customers are placing more demands on cell phones. Feature phones, once the advent of mobile phone technology, nowadays do more than just providing the user with MP3 play back or advanced audio effects. These features have become an integral part of medium as well as low-end phones. On the other hand, there is also an endeavor to include as improved quality as possible into products to compete in market and satisfy users’ needs. Tackling the above requirements has been partly satisfied by the advance in hardware design and manufacturing technology. However, as new hardware emerges into market the need for competence to write efficient software and exploit the new features thoroughly and effectively arises. Even though compilers are also keeping up with the new tide space for hand optimized code still exist. Wrapped in the above goal, an effort was made in this thesis to partly cover the competence requirement at Multimedia Section (part of Ericsson Mobile Platforms) to develope optimized code for new processors. Forging persistently ahead with new products, EMP has always incorporated the latest technology into its products among which ARMv6 family of processors has the main central processing role in a number of upcoming products. To fully exploit latest features provided by ARMv6, it was required to probe its new instruction set among which new media processing instructions are of outmost importance. In order to execute DSP-intensive algorithms (e.g. Audio Processing algorithms) efficiently, the implementation should be done in low-level code applying available instruction set. Meanwhile, ARMv6 comes with a number of new features in comparison with its predecessors. SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) and VFP (Vector Floating Point) are the most prominent media processing improvements in ARMv6. Aligned with thesis goals and guidelines, Reverb algorithm which is among one of the most complicated audio features on a hand-held devices was probed. Consequently, its kernel parts were identified and implementation was done both in fixed-point and floating-point using the available resources on hardware. Besides execution time and amount of code memory for each part were measured and provided in tables and charts for comparison purposes. Conclusions were finally drawn based on developed code’s efficiency over ARM compiler’s as well as existing code already developed and tailored to ARMv5 processors. The main criteria for optimization was the execution time. Moreover, quantization effect due to limited precision fixed-point arithmetic was formulated and its effect on quality was elaborated. The outcomes, clearly indicate that hand optimization of kernel parts are superior to Compiler optimized alternative both from the point of code memory as well as execution time. The results also confirmed the presumption that hand optimized code using new instruction set can improve efficiency by an average 25%-50% depending on the algorithm structure and its interaction with other parts of audio effect. Despite its many draw backs, fixed-point implementation remains yet to be the dominant implementation for majority of DSP algorithms on low-power devices.

Automatic Parallel Memory Address Generation for Parallel DSP Computing

Jiehua Dai

The concept of Parallel Vector (scratch pad) Memories (PVM) was introduced as one solution for Parallel Computing in DSP, which can provides parallel memory addressing efficiently with minimum latency. The parallel programming more efficient by using the parallel addressing generator for parallel vector memory (PVM) proposed in this thesis. However, without hiding complexities by cache, the cost of programming is high. To minimize the programming cost, automatic parallel memory address generation is needed to hide the complexities of memory access. This thesis investigates methods for implementing conflict-free vector addressing algorithms on a parallel hardware structure. In particular, match vector addressing requirements extracted from the behaviour model to a prepared parallel memory addressing template, in order to supply data in parallel from the main memory to the on-chip vector memory. According to the template and usage of the main and on-chip parallel vector memory, models for data pre-allocation and permutation in scratch pad memories of ASIP can be decided and configured. By exposing the parallel memory access of source code, the memory access flow graph (MFG) will be generated. Then MFG will be used combined with hardware information to match templates in the template library. When it is matched with one template, suited permutation equation will be gained, and the permutation table that include target addresses for data pre-allocation and permutation is created. Thus it is possible to automatically generate memory address for parallel memory accesses. A tool for achieving the goal mentioned above is created, Permutator, which is implemented in C++ combined with XML. Memory access coding template is selected, as a result that permutation formulas are specified. And then PVM address table could be generated to make the data pre-allocation, so that efficient parallel memory access is possible. The result shows that the memory access complexities is hiden by using Permutator, so that the programming cost is reduced.It works well in the context that each algorithm with its related hardware information is corresponding to a template case, so that extra memory cost is eliminated.

Voice Codec for Floating Point Processor

Johan Ross, Hans Engström

As part of an ongoing project at the department of electrical engineering, ISY, at Linköping University, a voice decoder using floating point formats has been the focus of this master thesis. Previous work has been done developing an mp3-decoder using the floating point formats. All is expected to be implemented on a single DSP.The ever present desire to make things smaller, more efficient and less power consuming are the main reasons for this master thesis regarding the use of a floating point format instead of the traditional integer format in a GSM codec. The idea with the low precision floating point format is to be able to reduce the size of the memory. This in turn reduces the size of the total chip area needed and also decreases the power consumption.One main question is if this can be done with the floating point format without losing too much sound quality of the speech. When using the integer format, one can represent every value in the range depending on how many bits are being used. When using a floating point format you can represent larger values using fewer bits compared to the integer format but you lose representation of some values and have to round the values off.From the tests that have been made with the decoder during this thesis, it has been found that the audible difference between the two formats is very small and can hardly be heard, if at all. The rounding seems to have very little effect on the quality of the sound and the implementation of the codec has succeeded in reproducing similar sound quality to the GSM standard decoder.