Summary: 0018-9162/96/$5.00 © 1996 IEEE March 1996 79
any algorithms used in human-machine interface applica-
tions--such as speech, image, and handwriting recognition--
require extensive computation. The burgeoning area of
multimedia processing also requires high-performance computing.
Processing elements for use in these areas must provide high perfor-
mance at low cost, as they probably will appear in a variety of consumer
products. The processing elements should also be programmable, to sup-
port multiple standards and reduce new algorithms' time-to-market. A
programmable device can also be used in multiple applications, which
makes it easier to recover silicon development costs.
Any programmable device brings associated software development
costs. Ideally, future processing-element implementations will be object-
code-compatible with earlier designs, so users can preserve their soft-
ware investments while taking advantage of fabrication technology
advances that make the code run faster.
We believe vector microprocessor architectures will make ideal pro-
cessing elements for these multimedia and human-machine interface
applications, which often contain algorithms that can be expressed in