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2004 : A Superscalar 16 Bit Microcontroller for Real-Time Applications

Author(s)
Gottfried Fuchs
Abstract
In the course of this diploma thesis LANCE, a superscalar 16 bit microcontroller for real-time applications, has been developed. The LANCE design is part of a modular construction system for real-time applications and based on the SPEAR processor (Scalable Processor for Embedded Applications in Real-Time Environments), which has been developed at the Institute for Computer Engineering - Embedded Computing Systems Group at the Vienna University of Technology. The modular construction system consists of several processor cores, a set of different so-called extension modules and a generic interface between these two types of components. The extension modules are used to adapt the processor core to different requirements imposed by a specific application. An extension module developed for one processor core can be used without any modification in all the others due to the standardized interface. The basic idea behind the LANCE design was to design a processor core with significantly higher processing power than SPEAR without losing code compatibility. Furthermore, LANCE has to be temporally predictable like SPEAR to offer enhanced support of embedded real-time system design. To satisfy the previously mentioned requirements, considerable effort had to be invested to fit the instruction memory and register file to the superscalar design approach. Due to the fact that two instructions are executed in parallel, the memory access rate has doubled compared to SPEAR. The need for massive data forwarding to achieve code compatibility and the increased memory accesses per clock cycle were topics of great concern during the design of LANCE. Moreover, the extension module access implicated further problems due to the already defined module interface which only supports one access per clock cycle. The above introduced problems have been resolved by carefully tuning the parallel pipelines, which finally lead to a fully operative prototype.
Bibtex
@mastersthesis{ fuchs:2004,
  author =      "Gottfried Fuchs",
  title =       " A Superscalar 16 Bit Microcontroller for Real-Time Applications",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "2004"
}
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