ISSN 1000-1239 CN 11-1777/TP

Journal of Computer Research and Development ›› 2021, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (6): 1131-1145.doi: 10.7544/issn1000-1239.2021.20210232

Special Issue: 2021计算机芯片关键技术前沿与进展专题

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Agile Design of Processor Chips: Issues and Challenges

Bao Yungang1,2, Chang Yisong1,2, Han Yinhe1,2, Huang Libo5, Li Huawei1,2, Liang Yun3, Luo Guojie3, Shang Li4, Tang Dan1, Wang Ying1,2, Xie Biwei1,2, Yu Wenjian6, Zhang Ke1,2, Sun Ninghui1,2   

  1. 1(State Key Laboratory of Computer Architecture(Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Beijing 100190);2(School of Computer Science and Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049);3(Center for Energy-Efficient Computing and Applications, Peking University, Beijing 100871);4(State Key Laboratory of ASIC and System(Fudan University), Shanghai 201203);5(College of Computer Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073);6(Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084)
  • Online:2021-06-01
  • Supported by: 
    This work was supported by the Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (62090020).

Abstract: Design of processor chips currently relies on the performance-oriented design method that focuses on hybrid optimizations among chip frequency, area and power consumption with multi-step and repetitive iterations via modern electronic design automation (EDA) techniques. Such conventional methodology results in significant costs, long period and high technical threshold. In this paper, we introduce an object-oriented architecture (OOA) paradigm with the idea borrowed from the software engineering area, and propose an OOA-based agile processor design methodology. Unlike the conventional performance-oriented design method, the proposed OOA-based agile design method mainly aims to shorten the development cycle, and to reduce the cost and complexity without sacrificing performance and reliability, which is evaluated as a new metric, agile degree. OOA expects to implement a series of decomposable, composable, and extensible objects in architectures of both general-purpose CPUs and application-specific XPUs via the object-oriented design paradigm, language and EDA tools. We further summary the research progress in each technical field covered by OOA, and analyze the challenges that may arise in the future research of OOA-based agile design methodology.

Key words: design of processor chips, object-oriented architecture (OOA), design paradigm, agile chip design language, EDA tools

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