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A novel methodology for the design of application-specific instruction-set processors (ASIPs) using a machine description language

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8 Author(s)
Hoffmann, A. ; Inst. for Integrated Signal Process. Syst., Aachen Univ. of Technol., Germany ; Kogel, T. ; Nohl, A. ; Braun, G.
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The development of application-specific instruction-set processors (ASIP) is currently the exclusive domain of the semiconductor houses and core vendors. This is due to the fact that building such an architecture is a difficult task that requires expertise in different domains: application software development tools, processor hardware implementation, and system integration and verification. This paper presents a retargetable framework for ASIP design which is based on machine descriptions in the LISA language. From that, software development tools can be generated automatically including high-level language C compiler, assembler, linker, simulator, and debugger frontend. Moreover, for architecture implementation, synthesizable hardware description language code can be derived, which can then be processed by standard synthesis tools. Implementation results for a low-power ASIP for digital video broadcasting terrestrial acquisition and tracking algorithms designed with the presented methodology are given. To show the quality of the generated software development tools, they are compared in speed and functionality with commercially available tools of state-of-the-art digital signal processor and μC architectures

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Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 11 )