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Designing SOCs with Configured Cores by Steve Leibson

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1.14. A Closer Look at 21st-Century Processor Cores for SOC Design

Microprocessor cores used for SOC design are the direct descendents of Intel’s original 4004 microprocessor. They are all software-driven, stored-program machines with bus interconnections. Just as packaged microprocessor ICs vary widely in their attributes, so do microprocessors packaged as IP cores. Microprocessor cores vary in architecture, word width, performance characteristics, number and width of buses, cache interfaces, local memory interfaces, and so on. Early on, when transistors were somewhat scarce, many SOC designers used 8-bit microprocessor cores to save silicon real estate. In the 21st century however, some high-performance 32-bit RISC microprocessor cores consume ...

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