Advanced silicon technologies permit implementation of digital circuits comprising millions of transistors. In order to keep design of such complex systems manageable, the design process is commonly subdivided into several views and levels of abstraction, which can be visualized by the well-known Y-chart (fig. 1.1). Starting from an abstract, functional view of the system-under-design, the goal is construction of the physical layout, i.e. the set of documents needed for chip fabrication. Electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) tools aim at automating design steps represented by edges between crosspoints in the diagram. Traditionally, ECAD technology was mainly concerned with single hardware components. Practical electronic systems, however, are often composed of several components. These may not only include special-purpose hardware, but also user-programmable “off-the-shelf” processors. Problems arising at this high level of abstraction, e.g. partitioning a complete system into several chips and selecting appropriate processors, are not yet solved by commercial tools. Consequently, ECAD research is currently taking the step towards system-level design automation.
KeywordsRegister Allocation Machine Code Target Processor Potential Parallelism Code Selection
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