The progress in microprocessor technology has boosted the performance of general purpose desktop processors and embedded processors alike. This has two notable effects:
- Embedded processors are now with enough good performance to execute complex software.
- Customers now expect the features, programmable devices offer.
The increased complexity of the software is directly reflected in increased software development times and higher error rates. This effect is worsened by programming these processors at a very low abstraction level in assembly languages. Increasing the abstraction level of the programming level, for example by using a C compiler, is therefore desirable. However, development of a C compiler for an embedded processor is a time consuming task.
The LISA language, developed at RWTH-Aachen University from Synopsys, can be used to create a description of a microprocessor. This description can then serve as a golden model. This means that changes to the architechture need only be reflected in the LISA description. Other components like the HDL description, the software tools like the assembler and linker and a simulator for early software development are then automatically generated by the Processor Designer toolsuite from Synopsys.
The scope of this project is to add generation of a C compiler to the Processor Designer suite's capabilities. The main objectives are:
- Inclusion of C compilers in the processor architecture exploration loop
- Automatic generation of C compilers from LISA description