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Soft Asymmetric Multiprocessing

Authored on: Sep 6, 2010 by P.J. Tanzillo

Technical Paper

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One of the first steps in embedded design is choosing a system architecture. Traditionally there have been two main options, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and asymmetric multiprocessing (ASMP). Today those two options are being combined using virtualization to form a new "soft ASMP" approach that offers many of the benefits of both SMP and ASMP. This article will look at the advantages of each approach and explain how Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) improves the performance of soft ASMP systems.

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KarlS Posted Mar 2, 2011

As was pointed out in the paper, having to program an FPGA in HDL is quite undesirable at the system level. There is another way with nearly equal performance and that is a "processor" that is small enough that several can embedded, all running in parallel at nearly HDL speed therefore with comparable performance to the custom design. A prototype design that executes C statements and assignments uses less than 1% of the FPGA logic resources which is far less than available soft processors. It is not a C to hardware(C2H) nor a full C Language with libraries. Just enough to eliminate the HDL problem. kws15@verizon.net.

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