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Designing SOCs with Configured Cores by Steve Leibson

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4.1. Processor Generation

To start the process of developing an enhanced processor core, the developer profiles target code by compiling it and identifying critical loops with a profiler. Then, instead of recoding these critical loops in assembly language, the developer describes new data types, new registers and register files, and new machine instructions that better fit the needs of the target application’s algorithms. Figure 4.1 shows the tool flow for developing an enhanced Xtensa processor core.

Figure 4.1. A simple tool flow allows SOC designers to quickly tailor an Xtensa microprocessor core for a specific application.

The processor-development process starts with the compilation of the available application code ...

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