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Contact: Michael Demjanenko

New DSP Micro-Kernel Available for ADSP-21xx Developers

Simple design targets fast, low cost development needs for telephony and multimedia. Kernel ships complete with source code for ADSP-21xx family and is available now.

Buffalo, NY October 18, 1994 ... VOCAL Technologies, Ltd., a leading supplier of DSP-based communication technologies, announced today the immediate availability of a DSP microkernel which the company has been using in its own product development labs. VTMK-21 provides simple foreground/background task management and runs on the ADSP-21xx family of fixed point DSP chips marketed by Analog Devices. The VOCAL software ships complete with source code and is ideal for OEMs in the embedded system design business who need task execution control but not all the functionality or costs associated with a full-featured DSP operating system. VOCAL is also making available with VTMK-21 a development board based on the ADSP-2171, which ships with PC (DOS) development environment software.

VTMK-21 is a background/foreground scheduling microkernel ideal for audio, telephony, imaging, and communications equipment development programs. The foreground is interrupt driven and satisfies many requirements for real-time, deterministic responsiveness and preemptive scheduling. The background is useful for running one or multiple non-real time tasks in a round-robin mode with whatever DSP resources are available. According to Victor Demjanenko, VOCAL's chief software architect, "We developed VTMK-21 in order to speed our own internal modem development programs. The kernel takes advantage of many ADSP-21xx features while avoiding awkward workarounds. For instance, the ADSP-21xx doesn't do well with preemption because the internal Loop Stack can be popped, but not read. VTMK-21 is fully aware of these architectural restrictions.

VTMK-21 is ideal for ADSP-21xx OEMs who need to multitask in a single embedded application, such as downloading new DSP code and writing to flash memory at the same time. In one sophisticated modem application, the VTMK-21 foreground runs fax modulations and actually transmits data while the background supports non-real time Group 3 compression and fax progress monitoring. The microkernel is also compatible with applications written for Windows 3.1 and for the new DSP Resource Manager to be included in Windows 95. According to Steve Rienhart, a member of the VOCAL team, "We developed our own microkernel in order to integrate multiple functions on a single modem design. We are now making this available as a service to our OEM customers."

In order to further assist OEM development efforts, VOCAL is also making available an ISA-bus development board based on the 26 MIP version of the ADSP-2171. The VTDB-2171/ISA board includes 16k of both 24-bit program memory and 16-bit data memory, two DSP "SPORT" serial connectors, and a control port for a daughterboard. Several daughter designs are available from VOCAL, including one for stereo audio I/O and one with an analog telephony DAA. PC software included with the board includes a development system as well as C source code for downloading data and code to the DSP board.
VTMK-21 ships with source code and full documentation for $6000. Availability is immediate.

The VTDB-2171/ISA development board with PC software is $4000. Delivery is 30 days ARO. The ADSP-21xx assembler and C compiler are available separately from Analog Devices.

VOCAL Technologies, Ltd. is the industry's only one-stop source for complete modem source code. The company provides full service telecommunication and networking solutions to OEMs and systems integrators in both US and international markets. Its SWOD-101 software package includes both modulations as well as upper layer data/fax protocols and enables OEMs to add well-tested fax, data, and voice features to their products without investing the dozens of man years needed to design, develop, and test communications software. All VOCAL telephony software is available as individual modules, as a complete suite, or as part of a turn-key hardware/software solution customized to meet an OEM's exact requirements.