Applied Microelectronics helps integrate Canadian signal processor

Engineers at the Canadian Defense Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, needed a system integrator with a chip that could provide collision-free access to common memory for the Next Generation Signal Processor. So they chose the chip technology from Applied Microelectronics, Inc. (AMI) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Jul 1st, 1997

Applied Microelectronics helps integrate Canadian signal processor

Engineers at the Canadian Defense Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, needed a system integrator with a chip that could provide collision-free access to common memory for the Next Generation Signal Processor. So they chose the chip technology from Applied Microelectronics, Inc. (AMI) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

AMI provided the Data Transfer ASIC and system integration process needed for the Next Generation Signal Processor, says Gavin Hemphill, defense scientist for the DREA. From among the companies that bid for the project, AMI was chosen because their expertise in Data Transfer ASIC technology was the most efficient, Hemphill says.

The Next Generation Signal Processor includes six custom chips, with three developed by Applied Microelectronics. The most recent version of the chip is the largest ASIC produced in Canada, according to AMI officials.

The Data Transfer ASIC includes 563,000 gates, which represents about 2.5 million transistors on a chip. The device gives each parallel processing board in the system collision-free access to a large common memory with a sustained data rate of 160 Megabytes per second. The chip is physically packaged in a 477 pin ceramic pin grid array.

Scientists are testing the Next Generation Signal Processor aboard the Canadian frigate HMCS Nipigon.

The Next Generation Signal Processor provides an architecture to build parallel signal processing systems. AMI engineers built two systems capable of processing 1.6 billion floating point operations per second and two systems capable of processing 3.2 billion floating point operations per second for the DREA.

The technology boosts signal processing capability for sonar and radar applications. It can also be applied in other areas such as medicine. - J.M.

For more information the Data Transfer ASIC, contact Darren Taylor of Applied Microelectronics by phone at 902-421-1250, by fax at 902-429-9983, by mail to Applied Microelectronics, Inc., 1046 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 2R1, by e-mail at taylor@appliedmicro.ns.ca, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.appliedmicro.ns.ca.

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