Ron Wilson, Intel FPGA
May 24, 2017
You could substantially increase the performance of your system with one little change. Or you could take a big bite out of energy consumption. Or you could greatly strengthen the security of your system. All with one little change of habit. If you are a car or bicycle enthusiast, you probably pay attention to custom cars or bespoke bicycle frames. So why not consider a customized CPU?
Granted, designing a CPU from scratch—and providing all the necessary verification tools, software development suites, and operating system ports—is out of the question for most design teams. Even mighty Apple starts out with ARM* architecture licenses and infrastructure. But modifying an existing CPU can be a practical—even an important—choice even for designs of modest means.
So how do you evaluate this alternative? Where do you start, what customizations are feasible, and what can you accomplish? Read on.
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