Current Activities in the Event Controlled Systems Project
There are a number of activities currently progressing as part of the ECS project.
ECS Methodology Development
Altough the ECS methodology itself is relatively static now, there are many related
aspects of ECS that continue to be explored.
- Liveness, Correctness, and guarantee of hazard-free operation of ECS circuits,
- Compilation of language specifications into ECS constructs,
- Interfacing ECS circuits, either to synchronous domains or asynchronous domains using
alternative communication strategies,
- Properties of critical ECS circuits, in particular their metastability behaviour
Eight-bit Microprocessor Implementation
The eight-bit microprocessor prototype,
ECSTAC-P, is currently being implemented in a 0.7 micron CMOS technology. It has a
number of notable features,
The chip will return in early 1997 from fabrication, at which time the final test part of this
- On-chip Instruction and Data Caches, with an interface to a synchronous bus environment,
- Five Stage pipeline,
- Load/Store Instruction Set loosely based on RISC constructs (adapted to suit an eight-bit processor).
Advanced Microprocessor Development
The design of ECSTAC-P was in all ways a prototype development. A more advanced microprocessor
is now being investigated, to compare a commerical, synchronous design with an equivalent processor
designed using the ECS methodology. It will feature
A date has not been set for the fabrication of this device.
- A full 32-bit architecture,
- Intruction and Data Caches, and possibly (asynchronous) interfaces to an external secondary cache,
- Full interrupt and exception handling,
- Memory Management for Virtual-Physical translations,
- Instruction set of existing commercial 32-bit processor.
Applications of ECS
New applications of this methodology are always being sought, and several novel applications have already
been investigated. New applications under investigation are
- Real-time systems,
- Encryption technologies, and
- Alternative Computing Architectures.
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