DSP Dev Kits for learning

Started by Crandles 5 years ago5 replieslatest reply 5 years ago529 views


Does anyone know where I can get a board that would be compatible with this book? All the options listed in the back seem to be sold out. I'm only looking for a basic development kit to get my chops back into shape (I've been operating on higher-level software for too long...). It would be nice if I could get a kit for something that's used a lot in industry. If anyone has another book/kit recommendation I'm open to suggestions!



Does anyone have experience with implementing DSP algorithms on the Beagle Board? I'm mainly concerned about documentation and support. I'd prefer not to get something and then realize I don't have access to any of the tools to make it functional.


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Reply by djmaguireApril 4, 2019

The options presented are all good in their own way.  I'm going to show my age here...

The interesting thing with "learning DSP," though, is that it really is best done on an actual DSP as a start (IMHO).  Concepts like circular buffering and zero-overhead looping - which are not overly complicated, sure, but fundamental to real DSPs - are able to be implemented in non-DSP hardware *after* they are understood.  ...but are understood much more easily while programming an actual DSP (again, IMHO).

It is unfortunate that the more basic DSPs and eval hardware are now considered legacy and starting with something like a ADI 57x can be a bit much.  Gone are the days of the C3x and ADSP-218x learning environments.  ...or mostly gone.

The C55x offer by @bone is a nice one.  An alternative is to get a C66x board that matches your book, exactly.

If someone was willing to use the wayback machine... I'd say do the following:

1) Get an old 32-bit Win98 laptop.

2) Buy an ADSP-2181 Ez-kit from eBay.  It will come with a compiler and (an okay) simulator.

3) Download  "Using the ADSP-2100 Family" volume 1 and 2

4) Download the DSP textbook from Prof. Orfandis and these experiments:


5) Buy Rick Lyon's book.  That's not so wayback.

6) Trackdown and download an ADSP-218x simulator called sim21xx by mycomm.  That's wayyyyy wayback.  ...but better than the ADI version.

...and go to town.  

There are lots of variations on this theme.  You could use an early TI eval board.  They had good support, also.  You could also do the same with the ADSP-2106x floating point Ez-kit as Using the ... book exists for that.  No Orfandis, though.  You could get a later eval board (ADSP-2189, early blackfin, ...).  Those will have correspondingly less support in terms of exercises.

The early eval boards will have you programming in assembly.  The ADI assembly is almost C-like.  The TI is not so much, but not so bad.  Real-time DSP programming in assembly does have pedagogical advantages.

The point of this is not nostalgia.  The earlier DSPs simply had more introductory support by ADI/TI and others.  If someone were to go through the exercises in the ADI set and Professor Orfandis' book with Rick Lyon's book as support - using both the sim and board - they would know the basics of DSP.  

I'm not so sure that the above wouldn't have been a preferable alternative to college for me.  College sure ate up a lot of time!  It did come in handy in some ways, though.  I'll admit that. :)

Here's the thing... While you are doing all of this, plan in your mind that you will switch to either later DSP variants or something like the PSoC.  If someone get the fundamental concepts of DSP locked down in a way like this, they can implement solid DSP operational concepts on any processor.  Especially, at todays processing speeds.  

Someone could say, "Oh, what's the point of learning old fixed-point DSP assembly?"  Not a bad question... but the assembly on the newer processors is almost identical - just expanded.  In the ADI case, it is - again - very C-like.  TI is not so far off.  ...and low level programming of DSPs for real-time processing is simply a good exercise.  It reinforces the fact that real-time processes are hard-limited in time in a literal count-the-operations sense.  Audio entertainment processing has to keep up.  ...but even accumulated delays are possible, if predicted.  In real-time control processing, that's not possible.

...and just keep all of this stuff together so that it is easy to sell when you "graduate."

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Reply by boneApril 4, 2019

I have the same book and also other versions and I bought the kit with the TMS320C55x and I am not really using it so could sell it to you if you want, but that is fixed point. If you want floating point ALU you have to get exactly the C66x. I would say try to search for it on digikey or Mouser. Otherwise Texas instruments still sells their development kits although they are a bit pricy:


Hope it helps!

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Reply by lamabrewApril 4, 2019
If you don't have need for extreme speed in what you want to do (you used the word 'basic' so I assume this is the case)  I would suggest one of the ARM M7 or new M33 based boards (I've used the M4 in the past and that's still reasonable, but not as powerful as the newer ones) and you can get low cost dev boards.  There's a lot of online docs about the CMSIS DSP library as well as DSP assembler optimization;  I know some books exist for some of the cores but I don't have experience with them.
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Reply by jeff_burchApril 4, 2019

A platform that is extremely convenient for low data rate DSP projects is the PSoC family from Cypress. The CY8CKIT-059 is a small form factor device that is easy to insert into a 0.1" spacing breadboard. It contains a PSoC5 chip with enough HW resources to build simple analog, digital, and SW systems with very few external components. Their PSoC Creator IDE is very easy to master. There is a vast collection of example programs, YouTube videos, etc. For $15, you can't beat it! 

For $20, you can get their latest PSoC6 chip in a similar form factor: CY8CPROTO-063-BLE. For $30, you can get their CY8CPROTO-062-4343W prototyping kit.

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Reply by stephanebApril 4, 2019

May I suggest you start a new thread with the Beagle Board question?  'Edits' to an existing post do not get noticed as much... Good luck.