A design flow for configurable embedded processors based on optimized instruction set extension synthesis
Proceedings of the Design Automation & Test in Europe Conference
Design tools for application specific instruction set processors (ASIPs) are an important discipline in systemlevel design for wireless communications and other embedded application areas. Some ASIPs are still designed completely from scratch to meet extreme efficiency demands. However, there is also a trend towards use of partially predefined, configurable RISC-like embedded processor cores that can be quickly tuned to given applications by means of instruction set extension (ISE) techniques.
... hile the problem of optimized ISE synthesis has been studied well from a theoretical perspective, there are still few approaches to an overall HW/SW design flow for configurable cores that take all real-life constraints into account. In this paper, we therefore present a novel procedure for automated ISE synthesis that accommodates both user-specified and processor-specific constraints in a flexible way and that produces valid, optimized ISE solutions in short time. Driven by an advanced application C code analysis/profiling frontend, the ISE synthesis core algorithm is embedded into a complete design flow, where the backend is formed by a state-of-the-art industrial tool for processor configuration, ISE HW synthesis, and SW tool retargeting. The proposed design flow, including ISE synthesis, is demonstrated via several benchmarks for the MIPS CorExtend configurable RISC processor platform. 2. Nodes that are already part of earlier identified CIs. Communication with such a node (through a GPR or an IR) is always free of any overhead if n i is included in a CI. 3. Nodes that are candidates for inclusion in a CI in the current iteration. Such a node do not have any communication cost if it is included in the CI along with n i .