Chameleon Chips

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Highly flexible processors that can be reconfigured remotely in the field, Chameleon's chips are designed to simplify communication system design while delivering increased price/performance numbers. The chameleon chip is a high bandwidth reconfigurable communications processor (RCP).it aims at changing a system's design from a remote location. This will mean more versatile handhelds. Processors operate at 24,000 16-bit million operations per second (MOPS), 3,000 16-bit million multiply-accumulates per second (MMACS), and provide 50 channels of CDMA2000 chip-rate processing. The 0.25-micron chip, the CS2112 is an example.
These new chips are able to rewire themselves on the fly to create the exact hardware needed to run a piece of software at the utmost speed. an example of such kind of a chip is a chameleon chip.this can also be called a ?chip on demand? ?Reconfigurable computing goes a step beyond programmable chips in the matter of flexibility. It is not only possible but relatively commonplace to "rewrite" the silicon so that it can perform new functions in a split second. Reconfigurable chips are simply the extreme end of programmability.?

The overall performance of the ACM can surpass the DSP because the ACM only constructs the actual hardware needed to execute the software, whereas DSPs and microprocessors force the software to fit its given architecture.
One reason that this type of versatility is not possible today is that handheld gadgets are typically built around highly optimized specialty chips that do one thing really well. These chips are fast and relatively cheap, but their circuits are literally written in stone -- or at least in silicon. A multipurpose gadget would have to have many specialized chips -- a costly and clumsy solution. Alternately, you could use a general-purpose microprocessor, like the one in your PC, but that would be slow as well as expensive. For these reasons, chip designers are turning increasingly to reconfigurable hardware?integrated circuits where the architecture of the internal logic elements can be arranged and rearranged on the fly to fit particular applications.
Designers of multimedia systems face three significant challenges in today's ultra-competitive marketplace: Our products must do more, cost less, and be brought to the market quicker than ever. Though each of these goals is individually attainable, the hat trick is generally unachievable with traditional design and implementation techniques. Fortunately, some new techniques are emerging from the study of reconfigurable computing that make it possible to design systems that satisfy all three requirements simultaneously.

Although originally proposed in the late 1960s by a researcher at UCLA, reconfigurable computing is a relatively new field of study. The decades-long delay had mostly to do with a lack of acceptable reconfigurable hardware. Reprogrammable logic chips like field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have been around for many years, but these chips have only recently reached gate densities making them suitable for high-end applications. (The densest of the current FPGAs have approximately 100,000 reprogrammable logic gates.) With an anticipated doubling of gate densities every 18 months, the situation will only become more favorable from this point forward.

The primary product is a groundstation equipment for satellite communications. This application involves high-rate communications, signal processing, and a variety of network protocols and data formats.


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