Friday, August 2, 2013

Multicore Association Targets Better Development Tools

The Multicore Association, which develops standards for products with multicore processors, has formed a new working group called the Software-Hardware Interface for Multi-Many Core (SHIM) to provide a common interface to abstract the hardware properties for multicore tools.

The association said better development tools are needed to support the virtually unlimited number of processor configurations coming to market.

"Unlike the IEEE IP-XACT standard that defines and describes electronic components for hardware design, the primary goal of the SHIM working group is to define an architecture description standard useful for software design. For example, the processor cores, the inter-core communication channels (in support of message passing protocols such as the Multicore Association’s MCAPI), the memory system (including hierarchy, topology, coherency, memory size, latency), the network-on-chip (NoC) and routing protocol, and hardware virtualization features are among the architectural features that SHIM will either directly or indirectly describe. The SHIM standard will be flexible enough to allow vendor-specific, non-standard architectural information for customized tools. And, while the SHIM standard itself will be publicly available, the vendor-specific information can remain confidential between a processor vendor and its development tool partners."

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