digital signal processor is a specialized microprocessor for the kind of algorithms employed in digital signal processing (DSP). The main goal is to accelerate the calculations while keeping the power consumption as low as possible. In this article, we review a basic addressing capability of DSP processors, i.e. circular buffering, which allows us to significantly accelerate the data transfer in a real-time system. Please note that since the acronym “DSP” stands for both “digital signal processing” and “digital signal processor," we will use the term “DSP processor” when referring to the hardware rather than the algorithm.
When implementing a real-time system, we find a circular buffer critical whether we are using a DSP processor or a general purpose processor (GPP). However, with a GPP we may have to implement the circular buffer in software. As discussed in the previous section, with each new sample, we have to update the pointer which contains the address of the newest sample. With a circular buffer implemented in software, the programmer needs to take care of updating the buffer pointers after each read and write operation. When the pointer reaches the end of the buffer, the program must wrap the pointer back to the beginning of the buffer.
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