Getting started with DSP programming on the beagleboard xm

Hy Nick

I dont work with Ubuntu on my BeagleBoard so i am not quite sure which alsa packages you need but i guess that you will need to install alsa-base and alsa-utils

sudo apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils

check whether there is the alsa device with

aplay -l

and you should get something like

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: omap3beagle [omap3beagle], device 0: TWL4030 twl4030-0 []
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #

now you can test alsa with

aplay -vv someFile.wav

If there is no sound maybe some channels are muted or the level is very low and you can adjust it with


A simple FIR filter should be able to be implemented in an ALSA application on the ARM only. Maybe also the NEON Data Engine could be interesting for you as it would gain performance and avoid the IPC between the ARM and the DSP.

An easy way to use the DSP on the BeagleBoard is to use the C6EZ tools ( which are included in the DVSDK from TI ( In the DVSDK you find several examples of how to work with the various frameworks.
The package manager in Angstrom has support for several TI packages but i don´t know about ubuntu.

I could send you a paper (BSc) which i wrote about that topic, but it is also my first experience and for sure not perfect.


Well i don´t know whether there is some kind of copy-right from the university on my thesis so i would prefer to send it by e-mail but i could not find your address in the forum. You can contact me on


Depending on what you’re expecting from the dsp you may consider the gst-dsp project.