Low cost SigmaDSPs

Started by mchavez 5 years ago4 replieslatest reply 5 years ago523 views

Hi all:

I worked at ADI for 17 years on low costs SigmaDSP. I know there has been a lot of confusion on programming tools and or SigmaStudio customization including low level programming, that against popular belief, it's very possible.

Let me know if there are questions I can answer.


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Reply by StenzJanuary 21, 2019
No instruction set details, a graphical development tool that runs only on windows, $200 for an evaluation module? This clearly does not spark joy for me, sorry.
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Reply by BEBSynthesizersJanuary 21, 2019

Hello Miguel,

what I read here is a bit disturbing. I use SigmaDSPs since years, and the main issue was that ADI *never* wanted to publish any detail about the assembly programming details.

I have had a lot of exchanges on ADI forums about the need I had to write music related algorithms, and each time, the answer was "you can do anything using SigmaStudio", even when I was proving that SigmaStudio was doing crappy things compared to correct assembly programming (I can provide figures for some filters and oscillators I wrote, where I can prove that SigmaStudio loses around 25% of processing power because it is simply unable to optimize the code)

My understanding after those discussion was that ADI did not want to publish any details about low level programming because they wanted to protect the various IP that are provided (like Dolby ones).

I would be very interested to know what informations are really available (and can be used without taking the risk of being sued by ADI) to create customs modules for the SigmaDSP


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Reply by mchavezJanuary 21, 2019

Hi Benoit:

The information is not as disturbing as it sounds like. Like anything ADI is most interested of course in controlling cost and supporting assembly code is a big cost adder. If however your opportunity is big, my suggestion is to simply ask and justify your need. Clearly even for you and/or your organization it might not be cost worthy to dedicate an engineer to learn the tools.

In regards to not exposing their IP. The need to see other's IP is independent from the availability to program this IC. In other words, one thing has nothing to do with the other.

What information is available? you must contact them however if you have a very specific needs there are some companies (3rd parties) that can do optimizations and or custom SigmaDSP/SigmaStudio modules for you to make use of most optimizations available in the IC.

Hope this helps.


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Reply by BEBSynthesizersJanuary 21, 2019

Hi Miguel

what I read from you confirms this situation : it is IMPOSSIBLE for any programmer to add their module themselves in SigmaStudio or even code anything directly in assembly. The only answer I always got from ADI when I was asking to get access to instruction list was "if you want, we can introduce you to some companies validated by us who can port your algorithm to SigmaStudio"

As far as I know, nobody said that it was not possible to customize SigmaStudio at all. All DSP programmers who want to write their own algorithm on SigmaDSP complains that they can't do it by themselves and they are forced to pay an external company to do their job, otherwise they have to deal with non-optimized algorithms.

And I do not agree at all with you about your assumption "supporting assembly code is a big cost adder". SigmaStudio does EVERYTHING in assembly (SigmaStudio *produces* assembly code!), but ADI has made the choice to encrypt the generated assembly files so nobody can read what is generated. In other terms, SigmaStudio supports already everything related to the assembly toolchain, but ADI did hide everything to block programmers to work in assembly, just to protect 3rd parties IP.

Knowing that, and back to your first message, what is the help you offer that may help us to circumvent those limitations ?