Digital signal processors (DSPs) enable advanced signal-processing functions in communications system, including implementation of complex filters. To meet an increasing need for complex DSP functions at reasonable prices, Texas Instruments, Inc. (Dallas, TX) has announced a pair of 300-MHz, dual-MAC processors with starting prices of $5.00: models TMS320VC5501 and TMS320VC5502. The processor pair, which are designed for low power consumption of only 200 mW, extend the company's TMS320C5000 platform to 32 code-compatible devices.

This DSP pair flaunts a highly integrated peripheral set that includes 32 KW DARAM and 16k ROM, a 32-b external memory interface (EMIF), and 16 kB of instruction cache. The I-Cache architecture allows the DSPs to have more memory at a lower cost (see figure). It also enables increased flexibility, more external memory options, and reduced latencies. Also notable in the peripheral set are a 16-b/8-b enhanced host port interface (HPI); six-channel direct memory access (DMA) supporting internal and external transfers; an I2C interface to microcontrollers and codecs for interchip communication; and up to 76 general-purpose I/O pins.

The C5501 and C5502 are actually the first 300-MHz DSPs to support temperatures ranging from −40° to +85°C. They can therefore cater to industrial applications that require extended temperature. For applications that demand lower cost, the C5501 DSP offers low power and high performance with reduced RAM and EMIF capability.

The company also credits its C55x C compiler technology with providing the devices' higher performance and increased memory. The smaller code size contributes to the low cost. The C55x also has 40 percent fewer cycles than some competing DSP compiler technologies.

The TMS320VC5501 and TMS320VC5502 DSPs are the first of their kind to be offered in low-profile quad-flatpack packaging (LQPF). Samples of the C5502, which can be supplied in a 24 × 24-mm, 176-pin LQFP or a 176-pin MicroStar BGA housing, are available for $9.95 each in quantities of 10,000. The C5501 DSP will be sampling in the third quarter of 2003 for $5.00 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The company also offers a 200-MHz version of the C5502 DSP for $7.95. Texas Instruments, Inc., 12500 TI Blvd., Dallas, TX 75243-4136; (800) 336-5236, Internet: