Using GEL File for Parallel Development and Testing of DSP Applications

By: S. Jaisimha
Singapore Design Engineering Centre
Delphi Delco Electronics Systems


In a typical system design involving a General Purpose Processor and a DSP, development for both the processor and DSP is normally carried out by different group of Engineers. In this type of system, the processor is normally the master while the DSP acts as a slave. The processor can control the DSP through various means. One of these means is via the use of the DSP's Enhanced Host Port Interface (EHPI). This interface on the DSP allows host processor to perform access to its internal memory almost seamlessly. Once configured properly, the host processor treats the DSP EHPI access as normal memory accesses. This interface reduces the complexity of the Host-DSP inter-communication.

However, there will arise instances when the progress of the two teams are not on par. The DSP will have to wait for the processor team to finish the command interface. This is not very efficient. With Texas Instruments Code Composer Studio, there is a GEL (General Extension Language) file that can emulate the function of the processor command interface. The DSP engineers can be independent of processor team in debugging their algorithms.

The use of GEL file in CCS environment to emulate an EHPI interface is presented in this application note. There are lots of other capabilities that the GEL file can offer and this will also be briefly discussed. An example of a typical MCU-DSP system employing DSP/BIOS running on TMS320C5402 DSK is used to illustrate the concept.

1. Introduction

As application gets more and more complicated, there is a high chance that it contains a MCU and a DSP. Most of the time the MCU will perform control and house keeping tasks while the DSP takes up the intensive signal processing tasks. A few examples of this type of system are the Handphone, PDA with MultiMedia capability and Hard Disk drive. This will normally divide the firmware development team into two groups, the MCU and the DSP. Another feature of this system is that the DSP is normally the slave while the MCU is the master controlling the overall functionality of the system.

The Code Composer GEL environment can assist in parallel development between the MCU and the DSP team. Many a times the hardware board will not be ready and all we have is an EVM to start developing out the code framework. The note aims to explain a means by which we can start developing the complete framework and also test its functionality by simulating an MCU environment using GEL Files. Please refer to the Appendix for a typical framework within a DSP.

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