BlackFin: Introduction

Let’s set the ball rolling on a rather simple note by mentioning the basic attributes of BlackFin Core and then slowly build up the complexity.

> Dual MAC signal processing engine.

Having a hardware multiplier is one of the important feature of any DSP. Two Multipliers along with two accumulator registers assists in performing a range of fixed point 16bit multiplier operations in a very efficient way.

> RISC instruction set

Load Store Architecture emphasizes the RISC nature of BlackFin and the same helps in better instruction ordering resulting in quick execution of critical DSP operation.

> SIMD Capabilities

Its common for DSP algorithms to do similar operations on a set of values and to optimize such operations we have Single Instruction Multiple Data capabilities.SIMD capabilities provided by the video ALUs are necessary for critical video processing algorithms.

The above three attributes form the fundamental DSP characteristic of Blackfin core.

The existence of a minimal MMU unit and peripherals like PPI and SPI makes the BlackFin an efficient general purpose microcontroller also.


Nope, not talking about the tuna fish, BlackFin is a Microprocessor manufactured by Analog Devices &  its architecture was co-developed with Intel Corporation. We can possibly call the BlackFin Core as a Hybrid Between the SHARC & Xscale processor families. in other words it has the both micro controller features & DSP features.

More about the DSP v/s Microcontroller can be found at edaBoard

Boot up to BlackFin here

I hope to dissect BlackFin Core and clear some neural fog and hopefully try and cloud the readers by using some fancy jargon, just kidding!