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A New Approach to Model-Based Development for Audio Signal Processing

Today, digital audio systems are restricted in their functionality. For example, a digital audio player still has a resolution of 16-bit and a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. This relatively low quality does not exhaust the possibilities given by modern hardware for music production. In most cases, the functionality is described in software. This abstraction is very common these days, as only few engineers understand the potential of their target hardware. The design-time increases significantly to develop efficiently for the target hardware. Because of the use of common compiler tool chains the software is statically mapped onto the hardware. This restricts the number of channels per processing core to a minimum when targeting high quality audio. One possibility to close the productivity gap, described above, is to use a high-level model-based development approach. The audio signal processing flow is described in a more abstract high level using the model-based development approach. This model is then platform-independently compiled including automatically generated simulation and verification input. Platform-dependent code can be automatically generated out of the verified model. This enables the evaluation of different target architectures and their trade-offs using the same model description. This paper presents a concept to use a model-based approach to describe audio signal processing algorithms. This concept is used to compile C- and HDL-code out of the same model description to evaluate different target platforms. The goal of this paper is to compare trade-offs for audio signal processing algorithms using a multicore Digital Signal Processor (DSP) target platform. Measurements using data parallelism inside the generated code show a significant speedup on the multicore DSP platform. A conclusion will be made regarding the usability of the proposed model-based tool flow as well as the applicability on the multicore DSP platform.

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