Application-Specific Accelerators for Communications
Cavallaro, Joseph R.
For computation-intensive digital signal processing algorithms, complexity is exceeding the processing capabilities of general-purpose digital signal processors (DSPs). In some of these applications, DSP hardware accelerators have been widely used to off-load a variety of algorithms from the main DSP host, including FFT, FIR/IIR filters, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) detectors, and error correction codes (Viterbi, Turbo, LDPC) decoders. Given power and cost considerations, simply implementing these computationally complex parallel algorithms with high-speed general-purpose DSP processor is not very efficient. However, not all DSP algorithms are appropriate for off-loading to a hardware accelerator. First, these algorithms should have data-parallel computations and repeated operations that are amenable to hardware implementation. Second, these algorithms should have a deterministic dataflow graph that maps to parallel datapaths. The accelerators that we consider are mostly coarse grain to better deal with streaming data transfer for achieving both high performance and low power. In this chapter, we focus on some of the basic and advanced digital signal processing algorithms for communications and cover major examples of DSP accelerators for communications.