What is nML?
nML is the key to quickly defining the right ASIP architecture for your requirements.
nML is a hierarchical and highly structured architecture description language that is used to represent ASIP designs at the abstraction level of a programmer's manual. It is used to model an ASIP architecture in a concise way, defining both the structural characteristics of the design as well as the instruction set architecture. nML has been carefully designed to contain the right amount of hardware knowledge to:
- Enable rapid development and exploration of architectural alternatives.
- Automatically generate highly efficient hardware designs (in the form of synthesizable RTL).
- Assure that IP Designer's retargetable C compiler has sufficient information to yield optimally scheduled code for critical regions.
- Enable generation of fast, yet cycle-accurate instruction-set simulators and simulation models.
nML models contain two basic parts.
The first part is a structural definition that accurately captures the datapath architecture of the ASIP, including all functional units, register files, memories, IO ports, and specialized registers, and the interconnection of these elements for data movement.
The second part is a definition of the instruction-set architecture (ISA) including the encoding and behaviors of each instruction. The second part is a hierarchical, grammar-based definition.
Due to the broad architectural scope of nML, ASIP architectures for a wide variety of application areas can be defined. Examples application domains include:
- Wireless and wireline communications (e.g., LTE modems)
- Video and Multimedia processing (including HD)
- Audio (mobile and otherwise)
- Medical and wearable devices
- Network Processing
"The speed at which we can turn out a custom core using IP Designer still astonishes me. The tools also point out places to optimize your nML, instruction encoding, pipelining, etc."
-Benton Watson, Sound Design Technologies, Ottawa, Canada