Microchip Reveals Winners of dsPIC Digital Signal Controller Design Contest

12/15/2004 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, named Dave Wetzel of Roanoke, Va., the top prize winner of its dsPIC® Digital Signal Controller Design Contest.

Thousands of engineers worldwide purchased Microchip’s power-packed dsPIC30F Design Contest Kit, which many of them used to submit entries showing off their design skills with the dsPIC digital signal controller and its high-performance development tools. Contestants created a product design, related block and flow diagrams, a schematic of the circuitry and project source code, all based on a dsPIC30F digital signal controller. Judging focused on innovation and the best use of onboard dsPIC30F features to determine the 20 contest winners.

The second-place prize of $7,500USD was awarded to Alister Watt of Sunbury, Middlesex, UK, for his “Musical Instrument” design. Josef Stastny of Velke Mezirici, Czech Republic, earned the $3,000USD third prize for his “Aircraft VOR Recorder” design.

The $15,000USD first-place prize went to Wetzel’s “Stereo Audio System” entry. This top design is for an audio processing system, which takes advantage of the dsPIC30F’s buffered on-chip peripherals to minimize interrupt service time and maximize overall performance. As a result, Wetzel was able to include a dual 12-band graphic equalizer using independent IIR filters with performance left over for dual audio-amplitude compressors that are used to control dynamic volume range. His design also includes a real-time VU meter display using some of the dsPIC30F’s unique instructions to facilitate the fast calculation of decibels on the LCD display. These features are particularly useful for environments where the range of audio volume should not vary to levels that are too quiet or too loud, such as an elevator.

“We were pleased to see so many high-quality entries and to receive so much positive feedback from contestants, who were impressed with the dsPIC digital signal controller’s capabilities, ease of programming, small learning curve and excellent tools. These features enabled entrants to create major designs with a few months,” said Sumit Mitra vice president of Microchip’s Digital Signal Controller Division. “Microchip offers a unique digital signal controller that seamlessly integrates the control attributes of a 16-bit microcontroller with the computation and throughput capabilities of a digital signal processor. This contest offered participants an exciting way to experience the best of both worlds.”

Below is a complete list of winning entries, which came from the Americas, Europe and Asia. The remaining prizes consisted of Microchip support hardware and software, including: MPLAB® ICE 4000 In-Circuit Emulators, MPLAB C30 C Compilers, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debuggers and Digital Filter Design Software.

The dsPIC30F Design Contest Kit provided contestants with a full-featured tool suite (including the board and software). This kit enabled participants to add powerful, new features to their designs, reduce component count and lower system cost on their high-performance designs.

The dsPIC30F Design Contest Kit contained a dsPICDEMTM 1.1 General Purpose Development Board (DM300014) and all of the tools necessary to test drive the new dsPIC® 16-bit digital signal controllers. This general-purpose board is currently available for $299 USD. The dsPICDEM 1.1 General Purpose Development Board provides designers with a low-cost development tool that demonstrates the dsPIC30F 16-bit architecture, including its high-performance peripherals and powerful instruction set.

About dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers
The dsPIC digital signal controller (DSC) is a 16-bit (data) modified Harvard RISC machine that combines the control advantages of a high-performance 16-bit microcontroller with the high computation speed of a fully implemented digital signal processor (DSP) to produce a tightly coupled single-chip single-instruction stream solution for embedded systems design. All dsPIC DSCs integrate Flash program memory and most have EEPROM data storage. For more information on the dsPIC DSC family, please visit: www.microchip.com/dspic

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, dsPIC and MPLAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. dsPICDEM is a trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries.

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