EDACafé: Managing SoC Hardware/Software Interface With CSRCompiler

by Rich Weber, On Oct 25, 2023

Richard Weber is a fellow at Arteris following the acquisition of Semifore, the company he founded and managed for 17 years as CEO. He has served as a committee member for the IEEE Standards Association and the Accellera Systems Initiative. Rich holds a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Many people fail to fully appreciate the difficulties of managing the Control and Status Registers (CSRs) that permeate today’s system-on-chip (SoC) devices. Similarly, they fail to comprehend the catastrophic consequences if the CSRs are not managed correctly and completely. These consequences may result in the device needing to be respun, costing millions, and the delay may cause a more severe outcome by completely missing the market. Today’s SoC can contain hundreds of IPs, each containing millions of gates. Furthermore, these IPs may contain hundreds of thousands or even millions of CSRs featuring a sophisticated combination of software and hardware. The hardware/software interface (HSI) accounts for a large proportion of the problems that arise during SoC development. In fact, the data presented in a recent study from a leading research firm suggested that as many as 1-in-7 SoCs must be respun due to HSI errors stemming from CSR mismanagement.

To read the full article on EDACafé, click here.

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