Today, developers of electronic systems face the challenge of designing differentiating products with a higher level of flexibility, to be able to quickly adapt to tiered and changing market needs.
This trend to increase the flexibility of electronic devices and systems has fueled the use of IP cores in the form of application-specific processors (ASIPs), enabling both software programmability and the high performance and lower power of specialised solutions.
ASIPs span the wide architectural spectrum between general-purpose microprocessors and hardwired data paths (see diagram). ASIPs can offer more instruction-level and data-level parallelism, as well as more architectural specialisation, than general-purpose solutions.
Thanks to the architectural exploration capabilities of the IP Designer retargetable tool suite, based on the nML processor description language, designers can determine the optimal operation point in the spectrum of architectural solutions for their application.
Target's customers own any ASIP core that they design with the IP Designer tool suite. As ASIPs always embed the customer's application knowledge, Target believes that a royalty free electronic design automation (EDA) business model is right for ASIPs.