A Hardware/Software Cosynthesis System for Processor Cores with Content Addressable Memories

Nozomu TOGAWA  Takao TOTSUKA  Tatsuhiko WAKUI  Masao YANAGISAWA  Tatsuo OHTSUKI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E86-A   No.5   pp.1082-1092
Publication Date: 2003/05/01
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications)
Category: 
Keyword: 
content addressable memory,  functional memory,  micro processor core,  hardware/software cosynthesis,  hardware/software partitioning,  

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Summary: 
Content addressable memory (CAM) is one of the functional memories which realize word-parallel equivalence search. Since a CAM unit is generally used in a particular application program, we consider that appropriate design for CAM units is required depending on the requirements for the application program. This paper proposes a hardware/software cosynthesis system for CAM processors. The input of the system is an application program written in C including CAM functions and a constraint for execution time (or CAM processor area). Its output is hardware descriptions of a synthesized processor and a binary code executed on it. Based on the branch-and-bound method, the system determines which CAM function is realized by a hardware and which CAM function is realized by a software with meeting the given timing constraint (or area constraint) and minimizing the CAM processor area (or execution time of the application program). We expect that we can realize optimal CAM processor design for an application program. Experimental results for several application programs show that we can obtain a CAM processor whose area is minimum with meeting the given timing constraint.