August 16, 2006
[Editor's note: If you are unfamiliar with the concepts of chip fabrication, the article "Push performance and power beyond the data sheet" provides some useful background.]
Comparing licensable processor cores and quantifying their relative performance is challenging. Unlike processor chips, there are many different ways in which licensable cores can be configured, implemented, and fabricated, each of which yields a different combination of speed, area, and power consumption. Particularly for digital signal processing applications (which tend to push the limits on one or more of these metrics) it's essential to have reliable and accurate performance data.
To make apples-to-apples comparisons between cores you'll need to pin down a consistent set of assumptions. In this article, we'll discuss some of the factors to consider when assessing and comparing licensable cores for digital signal processing.
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