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.
In a demanding application, we may not have the time to continuously check the pointers to see if they have reached the end of the buffer and wrap them back to the beginning of the buffer when necessary. As a result, a DSP processor uses dedicated hardware to provide some fast circular buffers.This hardware implementation automatically checks the status of the pointers and updates them accordingly.
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