Automated Generation of Hardware Accelerators With Direct Memory Access from ANSI/ISO Standard C Functions
A new approach to the problem of generating stand-alone hardware modules involves generating coprocessors that off-load and enhance performance of a microprocessor running software written in C. An implementation of this methodology is possible only with a supporting ecosystem of tools, which will be demonstrated in this paper. The Altera Nios II C-to-Hardware Acceleration (C2H) Compiler generates, from pure ANSI/ISO standard C functions, hardware accelerators that have direct access to memory and other peripherals in the processor’s system. It uses an existing commercial system integration tool to connect the accelerator to the processor and any other peripherals in the system. This gives the accelerator direct access to a memory map identical to that of the CPU, allowing seamless support for pointers and arrays when migrating from software to hardware.
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