Instant Toolsmith: Assembler

University essay from KTH/Skolan för informations- och kommunikationsteknik (ICT)

Author: Mattias Jansson; [2015]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis explores the use of the domain specific language Instant Toolsmith ADL to generate assemblers. The goal is to show how Instant Assembler ADL can reduce the development time and maintenance cost of the toolchain for a processor architecture. Instant Toolsmith ADL is used to develop Instant Assembler, a tool that generates assemblers from formal specifications. Instant Assembler is developed especially with digital signal processors (DSP) in mind. The report focuses on architectural features common for DSP processors such as Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) and conditional execution. As a case study an assembler for the MIPS32 processor architecture is produced using the Instant Assembler and is then extended with hypothetical additional features that are commonly found in DSP processors. The architecture is thus turned into a much more sophisticated one with little effort. The results show that the way of working from a good architecture description language provides the possibility to achieve fast development cycles and little maintenance overhead for processor toolchains. Specifically, it is shown that overall processor functionality as well as some features that are common in DSP processors are easily modeled using Instand Toolsmith ADL and used to produce architecture-specific parts of an assembler.

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