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OpenRISC Gains Atomic Operations and Multicore Support 77

An anonymous reader writes "You might recall the Debian port that is coming to OpenRISC (which is by the way making good progress with 5000 packages building) — Olof, a developer on the OpenRISC project, recently posted a lengthy status update about what's going on with OpenRISC. A few highlights are upstreamed binutils support, multicore becoming a thing, atomic operations, and a new build system for System-on-Chips."
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OpenRISC Gains Atomic Operations and Multicore Support

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  • Re:What advantages? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:34AM (#46999499)

    Another advantage of an open source softcore, is that you can add your own application specific opcodes. You could run your app in a profiler with the standard instruction set, and identify the hot spots. If a big chunk of your CPU time is spent in a single tight loop, you could implement that code directly in FPGA fabric, and execute each iteration in a single clock tick with a custom instruction. For instance, lets say you need to run some sort of CRC or crypto, with involves shifting, masking and adding bits. That would be easy to code up in Verilog into a single instruction, which is then executed by extending OpenRisc for the new opcode. Then just use the "asm" feature of GCC to put that opcode in the inner loop of your C program. Depending on your app, it is possible that you could get better performance from a customized softcore than from a generic hardcore, like ARM or MIPS.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva