using analog devices blackfin for embedded processing
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Using Analog Devices’ Blackfin for Embedded Processing. Diana Franklin and John Seng. Outline. Curriculum & Goals Blackfin Environment Expansion Board Lectures Labs Conclusions. Position in Curriculum. 1 yr Java. H&P except I/O and Parallel Processing. 1 yr Dig des/ arch. Embedded.

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Presentation Transcript
outline
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
position in curriculum
Position in Curriculum

1 yr

Java

H&P except I/O and Parallel Processing

1 yr

Dig des/

arch

Embedded

C Programming

Assembly

Quarter system = 10 week terms

outline1
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
    • Architecture
    • IDE
    • EZ-Kit Lite Board
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
basic features
Basic Features
  • 10 pipeline stages
  • In-order core
  • Separate data and pointer register files
  • 1 instruction bank, 2 data banks
  • Two each of Integer ALU, Multiplier, Accumulator, and Video units
  • Two Data Address Generators
interesting features
Interesting Features
  • Circular Buffer support
  • Reverse Bit Addressing
  • Single-instruction Multiply-Accumulate
  • Zero-overhead Loop
  • Static Branch Prediction
  • Can execute up to 3 instructions at a time, with limits on instruction types
software
Software
  • Visual DSP++
  • Intuitive interface
  • C or Assembly Programming
ez kit lite board
EZ-Kit Lite Board
  • Basic board with buttons and LEDs as primary fun I/O devices
  • No interface to a breadboard readily available
goals satisfied
Goals satisfied
  • Assembly unlike MIPS, but pipeline still simple
  • Parallelism
  • Powerful, usable for several courses
  • DSP
problems
Problems
  • No textbook
  • No interface to breadboard
  • License server flakey for students
  • Board has switches that change behavior – not a secure lab
outline2
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
expansion board
Expansion Board

8 input bits,

8 output bits

Blackfin

3.3 Volts

Breadboard

5 Volts

Buf

24-pin cable (16 pins used)

Voltage level

Conversion buffer

outline3
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
decisions decisions
Decisions, Decisions
  • The largest obstacle to class is now lecture preparation
  • Copy / Pasting from Instruction Set Reference and Hardware Reference Manual time-consuming, not fun.
  • We provide skeleton lectures plus the Blackfin-relevant information to integrate into your own lectures.
textbook
Textbook
  • None available for Blackfin
  • Generic textbooks are very high-level
  • Ideal would be generic textbook with slides that add Blackfin-specific details
    • Wayne Wolf’s Computers as Components
    • Blackfin reference manuals
normal lecture topics
Normal Lecture Topics
  • Memory-Mapped I/O / Polling
  • Interrupts
  • Timers
  • Ports / Buses
  • DMA and Power
  • Analog / Digital Conversion
extra lecture topics
Extra Lecture Topics
  • Blackfin ISA
  • Blackfin Pipeline
  • Blackfin Calling Convention
  • Branch Prediction
  • Parallel Processing
  • C for Assembly Programs
  • Code Optimization
mixed results
Mixed Results
  • We did not require (only suggested) generic textbook
    • Students found the lack of textbook difficult
  • Additional Lectures added in second instantiation of course
    • Dramatically increased number of C programmers in lab.
  • Tying to H&P textbook topics a positive reinforcement of earlier knowledge.
outline4
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
slide22
Labs
  • We include several labs.
  • I can provide the sample code given to students if asked.
  • Labs were multi-part to target specific lecture topics
experience
Experience
  • 10-weeks a short time to learn a new assembly language, new IDE, and so many new concepts
  • Multi-part labs were difficult because starting a new project was high-overhead in this system
  • Different theories on how much to give students (sample code vs nothing)
outline5
Outline
  • Curriculum & Goals
  • Blackfin Environment
  • Expansion Board
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Conclusions
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Embedded processing classes must keep up with technology.
  • Hardware is expensive, so cost sometimes overrides other factors.
  • A repository of different architectures, tied to a generic textbook, might be useful.
resources
Resources
  • www.csc.calpoly.edu/~franklin/316/Bundle.tar
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