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Compilation techniques and tools for embedded processor architectures

Auteur(s) : Cl. B. Liem, P. Paulin

Doc. Source: Hardware/Software Codesign : Principles and Practice

Publisher : Kluwer Academic Publishers

Pages : 149-191

Compiler technology and firmware development tools are becoming a key differentiator in the design of embedded processor-based systems. This paper presents a look at the trends in embedded processor architectures in the growing application areas of multimedia, wireless communications, and telecommunications, which are creating the need for new design methodologies. The emergence of processor architectures specialized to application areas is showing the direction in high-volume products. These type of processors have been termed Application Specific Instruction-Set Architectures or ASIPs. Following the review of embedded processor characteristics, a picture of the needed firmware development tools is presented centered around the retargetable compilation methodology. Traditional and new compiler techniques are presented with respect to the constraints of embedded processor architectures. This is followed by a discussion of practical considerations for firmware development environments in industrial settings, including language support, validation strategies, source-level debugging and tools for architecture and algorithm exploration.