VLSI design for massively parallel signal processors

SY Kung, Jurgen Annevelink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In modern signal processing, there are increasing demands for large-volume and high-speed computations. At the same time, VLSI has had a noticeable effect on signal processing by offering almost unlimited computing hardware at low cost. These factors combined have affected markedly the rapid upgrading of current signal processors. We review the influence of the basic VLSI device technology and layout design on VLSI processor architectures. The array processors in which we take special interest are those for the common primitives needed in signal processing algorithms such as convolution, fast Fourier transforms and matrix operations. Regarding VLSI devices, special emphasis is placed on alleviating the burden of global interconnection and global synchronization. For cost-effective design, programmable processor modules are adopted. On the basis of these guidelines, we establish the algorithmic and architectural footing for the evolution of the design of VLSI array processors. We note that the systolic and wavefront arrays elegantly avoid global interconnection by effectively managing local data movements. Moreover, the asynchronous data-driven nature of the wavefront array offers a natural solution to get around the global synchronization problem. The wavefront notion lends itself to a wavefront language (matrix dataflow language (MDFL)) which simplifies the description of parallel algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalMicroprocessors and Microsystems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1983
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • microprocessors
  • parallel algorithms
  • signal processing


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