TitleVirtual Digital Signal Processing in an Object-Oriented System
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsMellinger, DK, Garnett, G, Mont-Reynaud, B
JournalComputer Music Journal

We describe in this paper a prototype environment for digital signal processing in terms of a virtual processor and its associated virtual data. The basic operations of the processor are designed for fast vector operations on a variety of different types of hardware. One finished implementation is presented and others are planned. The modern digital signal processing environ- ment is one of great flux. New chips are being developed and brought to market at ever faster rates. Those creating signal-processing software applica- tions wish to take advantage of the speed of these hardware devices, but are faced with the problem of interfacing each application to each piece of hardware. The work required can be reduced immensely by using a signal-processing software environment that is common to all the low-level hardware de- vices, but such an environment must have hardware independence "designed in" from the very start. It is with goal that we have implemented a prototype system for vectorized digital signal processing in the Smalltalk-80 programming system. The de- velopment discussed here is the high-level front end to this vector processor. Smalltalk-80 is itself highly machine-independent, due mainly to its being constructed on top of a virtual machine (Goldberg and Robson 1983).A primary design choice in the current system has been to abstract the notions of digital signal processors and data, and to provide a standard interface and a virtual machine to support these abstractions. The system is called the Virtual Digital Signal Processing system, or VDSP.