by Drew Wingard
The relentless pace of Moore's Law has caught up with us again. Design teams still struggling under the weight of system-on-a-chip (SOC) designs composed of hopefully-reusable-next-time IP cores are running head-first into a new challenge-trying to manage the interactions of 50 or more somewhat independent cores throughout the design process. What is needed is a new level of abstraction-a level of hierarchy that reduces the number of objects to something a designer can effectively reason over. Some people call this next level of abstraction the platform, but most platform definitions imply a single "metacore" integrating a critical subset of the desired functions that is then integrated with a set of application-specific peripherals.