We describe here the structure and principal components of the design of a multi-threaded powerPC processor using Bluespec. The focus is on the generality and flexibility of structure, using the high-level nature of Bluespec language, so that the resulting design facilitates rapid experimentation with incremental changes to the architecture. Hence, the code is highly parameterized so that the design can be easily tailored to vary number of threads, cores, various table sizes, etc. The implementation presented here is of a very primitive processor that has no cache subsystem and is directly connected to a memory. A preliminary design of an address translation mechanism is included. We describe the structuring of some salient components and give some code fragments to illustrate the flavor of coding style. The complete processor is synthesized successfully and is currently being ported onto an FPGA platform.
By: Kattamuri Ekanadham; Jessica Tseng; Pratap Pattnaik
Published in: RC24706 in 2008
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