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Designing SOCs with Configured Cores by Steve Leibson

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3.8. Benchmarking the Xtensa Core ISA

A processor’s ISA efficiency is best measured by specific target application code. Often, that code doesn’t exist when the SOC designers select a processor for the target tasks. Consequently, benchmark programs often stand in for the target application code.

The original definition of a benchmark was literally a mark on a workbench that provided some measurement standard. Eventually, early benchmarks were replaced with standard measuring tools such as yardsticks. Processor benchmarks provide yardsticks for measuring processor performance.

In one sense, the ideal processor benchmark is the actual application code that the processor will run. No other piece of code can possibly be as representative of the ...

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