Synthesisable ARM increases flexibility

Synthesisable ARM increases flexibility
Richard Ball Advanced Risc Machines’ most popular processor, the ARM7TDMI, is available in synthesisable form, the company has revealed. “People want increased flexibility, so we have developed a synthesisable version of the ARM core,” said Tim O’Donnell, president of ARM’s US subsidiary. The ARM7TDMI-S makes it easier for companies to develop products based on the UK-designed processor. Available in both VHDL or Verilog hardware description languages, the core can be optimised in terms of speed or area. Compared with the previous ARM7, which exists as a physical layout in the form of a mask, the -S will either be slower, larger or consume more power. But, said O’Donnell, “use of a soft core can save a company 90 per cent of costs versus a hard macro”. A core that exists in VHDL or Verilog – called a soft core – is easier to fit into a company’s design flow, while engineers can add test structures such as JTAG or BIST scan chains. Another advantage is the core will be easier to use in different manufacturing processes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*