Re: Optical DSPs promise tera-ops performance

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 12:24:05 MDT

On 10/8/01 7:07 PM, "Dan Clemmensen" <> wrote:
> I can't determine whether it's hype or a genuine
> breakthrough. If genuine, we have the potential for
> a major near-term performance improvement for a
> large and important class of algorithms.

Current top-end DSPs do tens of Giga-ops, so Tera-ops isn't a huge
performance stretch, particularly since the technology won't be available
for many years.

Unfortunately, DSPs have a limited algorithm space largely because they have
very limited RAM capabilities, being unable to effectively address even
modest quantities of RAM. Given that DSP manufactures don't have any
super-secret process technology, it is pretty obvious that they are giving
up something to fit the extra processing units on the die. AI-type work
needs tons of RAM and proper hardware memory management, so at best DSP
might be useful for offloading certain types of computationally intensive
operations (e.g. real-time audio analysis).

-James Rogers

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