8Architecture Design

Highlights:

Hardware description languages (HDLs).

Register-transfer design.

High-level synthesis.

Low-power architectures.

Systems-on-chips and embedded CPUs.

Architecture testing.

8.1 Introduction

A good digital system design is more than a jumble of components. You must design an architecture that executes the desired function and that meets area, performance, and testability constraints. Simply executing the specified function is the easy part—there are many candidate architectures that will execute almost any function. What makes chip design challenging is sorting through all the possible designs to find those few which are small and fast enough.

We’ll start with a review of hardware description languages ...

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