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Customizing Processors


The design, verification, and implementation of a processor is the core competence of some companies, but others just want to whip up a small processor as quickly and cheaply as possible. What tools and options exist? Processors range from very small, simple cores that are deeply embedded into products to those operating at the highest possible clock speeds and throughputs in data centers. I... » read more

High-Level Synthesis For RISC-V


High-quality RISC-V implementations are becoming more numerous, but it is the extensibility of the architecture that is driving a lot of design activity. The challenge is designing and implementing custom processors without having to re-implement them every time at the register transfer level (RTL). There are two types of high-level synthesis (HLS) that need to be considered. The first is ge... » read more

Synthesizing Hardware From Software


The ability to automatically generate optimized hardware from software was one of the primary tenets of system-level design automation that was never fully achieved. The question now is whether that will ever happen, and whether it is just a matter of having the right technology or motivation to make it possible. While high-level synthesis (HLS) did come out of this work and has proven to be... » read more

The Next Level Of Abstraction For System Design


Recently there have been a lot of discussions again about the next level of design abstraction for chip design. Are we there yet? Will we ever get there? Is it SystemC? UML/SysML perhaps? I am taking the approach of simply claiming victory: Over the last 20 years we have moved up beyond RTL in various areas—just in a fragmented way. However, the human limitations on our capacity for processin... » read more