Supporting testimonial to the ArchC infrastructure (2004)

NOTE: I was an early PhD student at the time and was quite impressed with what ArchC had to offer; I still am.

1. What ArchC is all about

ArchC is an architecture description language that exploits the already mature SystemC standard legacy. It targets the automated generation of:

  1. functional and cycle-accurate instruction set simulators and at a later stage of
  2. tools from the entire application development toolchain for a custom processor (compiler, assembler, linker, debugger, etc).

Simulator generation is at a very good and usable state, however needs to be extended towards the system-level (bus generation ?). Toolset generation which naturally comes next, requires more hard effort and therefore the appropriate support of the open-source community. In my personal opinion, compiler generation is so hard that it can only be possible through funding. Other issues as automated bus generation also need support.

2. Strengths of ArchC

Important points regarding ArchC are:

3. How has ArchC helped me in my research

4. What needs to be done

This work will be incomplete unless the "ArchC roadmap" is fulfilled. While I believe the compiler retargeting is a very hard issue, [addressing UNICAMP team] I am certain that your team is experienced in DSP compilation techniques (I have read some of the papers). Certainly, assembler generation, and bus wrapper generation (e.g. for OCP) plus some more models are awaited by many users, including myself.

Thank you for all the (free) fish!