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Challenges in cross-development [single chip microprocessors]

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3 Author(s)
R. W. Earnshaw ; Adv. RISC Machines Ltd., Cambridge, UK ; L. D. Smith ; K. Welton

This year is a turning point in the history of single-chip electronic products. Before 1997, the silicon fabrication industry's capability to produce such systems cost-effectively embraced only the highest volume products, those amenable to a full-custom design approach, and those of moderate complexity. After 1997, single-chip products built from several microcontrollers, DSPs, memory, and customer-designed processor-like entities will become increasingly cost-effective. Designing them will be possible for anyone with state-of-the-art ASIC design tools. In this article, we discuss the two major challenges of developing software for such products: debugging and simulation. Key to our analysis is the idea that technology that can tackle these problems already exists. The traditional division of tasks within the development tools industry, however, along with a lack of standardization have prevented comprehensive debugging and simulation solutions from becoming widespread. As Advanced RISC Machines is not part of the cross-development tools industry, we offer a consumer's view rather than a provider's view of the debugger challenge facing tools vendors. We also describe the simulation challenges facing the emerging suppliers of intellectual property to the embedded systems industry. In this area, ARM is a provider, so our analysis is more detailed. Finally, we describe ModelGen and the ARMulation Framework, tools we have developed to support the use of ARM's intellectual property in these products

Published in:

IEEE Micro  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )