Aries: An LSI Macro-Block for DSP Applications



Digital Signal Processing has evolved into one of the main applications of current VLSI technology. The recent developments within the electronics industry has resulted in new applications which require extensive signal processing. These applications have entered the consumer market that has placed a high demand especially on multimedia applications.

Most of the digital signal processing operations can be expressed by means of convolutions where the image data value and a set of neighbouring data values are convolved by a set of coefficients. This operation is especially computation intensive as it involves a number of multiplications. For high bandwidth signals such as images, these operations have to performed repedeatly over a large set data continously. As a result, the general nature of this operation requires a number of area consuming high speed multipliers.

In this work, a basic building block for the construction of convolutional filtering blocks is presented. This block (named Aries) uses pre-calculated values stored in a RAM to compute the result of a 5x1 kernel. These blocks can be combined to generate a filter of any dimensions 1-D or 2-D). Aries includes an output stage that can be used to generate a pipelined adder array to sum up the results of all Aries blocks. The block operates on 8-bit unsigned data at a rate of 50 million samples per second. This corresponds to an equivalent performance of 450 MOPS (Million Operations per second). A 9x9 filter realization would only need 18 Aries blocks, have an equivalent performance of more than 8 GOPS (Giga Operations Per Second) and occupy a silicon core area of less than 30 mm^2 even in a modest 0.8um CMOS technology. The Full-Custom design methodology employed throughout the design is presented as well.


These pages by KGF