Digital mixing consoles : parallel architectures and taskforce scheduling strategies
This thesis is concerned specifically with the implementation of large-scale professional DMCs. The design of such multi-DSP audio products is extremely challenging: one cannot simply lash together n DSPs and obtain /7-times the performance of a sole device. M-P models developed here show that topology and IPC mechanisms have critical design implications. Alternative processor technologies are investigated with respect to the requirements of DMC architectures. An extensive analysis of M-P topologies is undertaken using the metrics provided by the TPG tool. Novel methods supporting DSP message-passing connectivity lead to the development of a hybrid audio M-P (HYMIPS) employing these techniques. A DMC model demonstrates the impact of task allocation on ASP M-P architectures. Five application-specific heuristics and four static-labelling schemes are developed for scheduling console taskforces on M-Ps. An integrated research framework and DCS engine enable scheduling strategies to be analysed with regard to the DMC problem domain. Three scheduling algorithms — CPM, DYN and AST — and three IPC mechanisms — FWE, NSL and NML — are investigated. Dynamic-labelling strategies and mix-bus granularity issues are further studied in detail. To summarise, this thesis elucidates those topologies, construction techniques and scheduling algorithms appropriate to professional DMC systems.