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Unformatted text preview: hese components there is little overhead incurred in using the reference peripheral specification as the starting point for system development, and there is considerable benefit in starting from a functional system. Interrupt controller Counter-timers Reset and pause controller System design Hardware system prototyping tools 223 8.4 Hardware system prototyping tools
The task facing today's system-on-chip designer is daunting. The number of gates on a chip continues to grow at an exponential rate, and is already in the millions. With the best software design tools available on the market, designers cannot produce fully tested systems of this complexity within the time-to-market constraints. The first step towards addressing this problem, as has already been indicated, is to base a significant proportion of the design on pre-existing design components. Design reuse can reduce the amount of new design work to a small fraction of the total number of gates on the chip. A systematic approach to on-chip interconnect through the use of a bus such as AMBA further reduces the design task. However, there are still difficult problems to be solved, such as: How can the designer be sure that all of the selected re-usable blocks, which may come from various sources, will really work together correctly? How can the designer be sure that the specified system meets the performance requirements, which often include complex real-time issues? How can the software designers progress their work before the chip is available? Simulating the system using software tools usually results in a performance that is several orders of magnitude lower than that of the final system, rendering software development and full system verification impractical. A solution that goes a considerable way towards addressing all these issues is the use of hardware prototyping: building a hardware system that combines all of the required components in a form that makes no attempt to meet the power and size constraints of the final system, but does provide a platform for system ve...
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This document was uploaded on 10/30/2011 for the course CSE 378 380 at SUNY Buffalo.
- Spring '09