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Deep thinking

Analog Devices’ next generation of TigerSharc dsps.

The next generation of TigerSharc – Analog Devices' high end dsp – will integrate 24Mbit of embedded dram, thanks to IBM's deep trench process. This replaces the 6Mbit of embedded sram integrated in the first TigerSharc generation and, thanks to the lower transistor count per memory cell of dram, a similar die size is maintained.

Embedded dram processes have historically compromised the performance of logic circuits integrated in the same process, making it unsuitable for high performance devices. But IBM seems to have overcome this problem using deep trenches to isolate the processes – essentially combining both a memory and logic process on the same silicon. Additional benefits include the lower soft error rates experienced in dram over sram – which is increasingly becoming a problem as the density of on chip memory increases.

Three new TigerSharcs are being announced. The TS201 has 24Mbit of on chip ram, whilst the TS202 and 203 have 12 and 4Mbit respectively. The parts are claimed to perform 4.8GMACs and 3.6Gflops at 600MHz.

Graham Pitcher

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