[rescue] Any use for AT&T 3210 DSPs?

Joshua Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Fri Apr 16 12:18:15 CDT 2004

On Fri, Apr 16, 2004 at 12:04:17PM -0400, Nathan Raymond wrote:
> Is there anything useful besides Photoshop that uses these DSPs?  Anyone
> want to hazard a guess how complicated it would be to add support for the
> 3210 DSPs to m68k NetBSD or Linux, and what benefits there would be?
> (Like, if either of those OSes had sound support on mac68k, could the DSPs
> be used to accelerate decoding of MP3s for playback?)

There seem to be two major issues.  1. Doing anything at all with that
DSP, and 2. Doing anything with those accelerator cards.

In trying to find information on using those chips all I could find was
an MPW compiler plugin, and a text file that describes the assembly.  I
was unable to find any stand alone assembler that would run on a unixy
OS for writing 3210 code.  It may not be that difficult to write though,
if one spent some time using the assembly documentation and the MPW
plugin to reverse engineer what the byte codes are, but I wasn't that
motivated to try, and I'm not sure I could do it.  Full AT&T
documentation would help tremendously.  I couldn't find it, but I didn't
put major effort into an exhaustive search.  I've also had a lead that
Plan9 may come with a compiler that supports the DSP3210.  I've also
found traces that someone at sometime was working on DSP3210 support for
GCC.   See here:

Hmm, you've gotten me reinterested in this.  I'm not starting to be
tempted to buy a sacrificial 660AV.  I'd feel happier if I could get
AT&T docs though.

After supporting in some capacity the DSP3210s on the AV quadras, one
could look into supporting those accelerator cards.  I don't know of any
existing documentation for how to program them.  I don't know if it
would be easy to try to probe them over NuBus, and see how simply
exposed the chips are.  Someone also may be able to dig up insider
information.  If nothing else, one could reverse engineer the software. 

Everything is possible, but it is, as always, a matter of finding
someone with the skill, or aptitude to learn, and the time to do it.

If you don't have the time/skill to do this, then you might as well take
the cards out.

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