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Softening Hardware: Using Application-Specific Processors to Optimize Modern SoC Designs

Over the past decade, the trend in SoC design has been to add more functionality into programmable logic, but moving functionality from hardware into software comes at a cost: software requires a processor, which, if not designed for optimal efficiency, could be slower and use more power than dedicated hardware. It often makes sense to implement smaller, specialized processors to tackle specific tasks with highly targeted software instead of one processor that has to run any of 100 possible workloads.

This trend has resulted in the increase of more specialized commercial processor IP available from IP providers, but what if the specialized processor IP you need is not available? Many teams are opting to design specialized processors, or application-specific instruction set processors (ASIPs), in house. To make this a viable option from a time and resource perspective, design teams need a tool that automates the development of ASIPs.

Read this white paper to learn about the ASIP design process, including the needed architectural considerations. Find out how ASIP Designer overcomes the obstacles that often plague ASIP development, reducing the effort and risk of deploying ASIPs in SoC designs.


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