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Reply To: Eventide H9000

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Eventide Staff
ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

How many ARM processors does the H9000 have?

Four quad core processors. Each core is powerful enough to run the algorithms that run on a single motorola dsp used in the H8000. In other words the H9000 can run 16 algorithms compared to 2 on an H8000.

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

How much more powerful are compared to a) the Motorola DSP in the H8000FW and b) current Sharc processors?

Not a simple question. DSPs are micros with a special architecture optimized to run signal processing routines. They were first introduced in the early 80s and all of our hardware processors have been DSP based until now. We have always anticipated that, one day, general purpose processors would advance in speed and functionality to be able to handle the kind of things that we need and love to do. Specialized processors like DSP chips are targeted at narrower markets, in the case of DSP mainly telecomm and the development tools tend to be more limited than the tools available to programmers of general purpose processors. Simply put, there are many many more developers writing code for general purpose processors like Intel and ARM than for any DSP chip. And, chip manufacturers have put much more investment in furthering the sheer speed and functionality of general purpose micros. We have been planning for the day that ARM chips would allow us to make the transition and that day has come.

ThreeFingersOfLove wrote:

What were the factors that were evaluated by you guys at Eventide for choosing the one over other DSPs?

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Mainly the better, more advanced development tools. Quicker development of complicated algorithms, shorter learning curve for new developers. But also the simple fact that chip manufacturers are advancing the state of the art of general purpose processors much more rapidly than DSP. That’s where the money is. For example, Freescale/NXP made a decision to stop development of new DSPs in favor of ARM because the sheer horsepower precludes the need for specialized architecture. We considered SHARC but determined general purpose is the future and, with the H9000 now running our complex algorithms on a single core of a quad device, the future is now. One further benefit of a DSP platform based on general purpose processors is the simple fact that third parties will find it easier to develop new algorithms for our platform. It’s much easier to port a VST plugin, for example ,to an ARM than to a DSP chip.

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