In this chapter we will look at the emergence of system design theory, practice and tools. We will first look into the needs of system-level design and the driving force behind its emergence: increase in design complexity and widening of productivity gap. In order to find an answer to these challenges and find a systematic approach for system design, we must first define design-abstraction levels; this will allow us to talk about design-flow needs on processor and systems levels of abstraction. An efficient design-flow will employ clear and clean semantics in its languages and modeling, which is also, required by synthesis and verification tools. We will then analyze the system-level design flow and define necessary models, define each model separately and its use in the system design flow. We will also discuss the components and tools necessary for system design. We will finish with prediction on future directions in system design and the prospects for system design practice and tools.
KeywordsClock Cycle Finite State Machine Abstraction Level Register File Custom Processor
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