This article is part of the series Rapid Prototyping of DSP Systems.

Open Access Research Article

How Rapid is Rapid Prototyping? Analysis of ESPADON Programme Results

Bob K Madahar1*, Ian D Alston1, Denis Aulagnier2, Hans Schurer3, Mark Thomas4 and Brigitte Saget5

Author Affiliations

1 BAE SYSTEMS Advanced Technology Centre, West Hanningfield Road, Gt. Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 8HN, UK

2 Thales Airborne Systems, 10 avenue de la 1ère DFL, Brest Cedex 29283, France

3 Thales Naval Nederland, Zuidelijke Havenweg 40, P.O. Box 42, Hengelo 7550 GD, The Netherlands

4 Thales Underwater Systems, Dolphin House, Ashurst Drive, Bird Hall Lane, Cheadle Heath, Stockport, Cheshire SK3 0XB, UK

5 MBDA France, 20-22 rue Grange Dame Rose, BP 150, Velizy-Villacoublay Cedex 78141, France

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EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2003, 2003:349675  doi:10.1155/S1110865703212129

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received: 14 March 2002
Revisions received: 9 October 2002
Published: 20 May 2003

© 2003 Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation

New methodologies, engineering processes, and support environments are beginning to emerge for embedded signal processing systems. The main objectives are to enable defence industry to field state-of-the-art products in less time and with lower costs, including retrofits and upgrades, based predominately on commercial off the shelf (COTS) components and the model-year concept. One of the cornerstones of the new methodologies is the concept of rapid prototyping. This is the ability to rapidly and seamlessly move from functional design to the architectural design to the implementation, through automatic code generation tools, onto real-time COTS test beds. In this paper, we try to quantify the term "rapid" and provide results, the metrics, from two independent benchmarks, a radar and sonar beamforming application subset. The metrics show that the rapid prototyping process may be sixteen times faster than a conventional process.

rapid prototyping; COTS; model year; beamformer; EDA tools; heterogeneous platform; FPGA

Research Article