A1.7 Design process
The processor is delivered as synthesizable RTL that must go through implementation, integration, and programming processes before you can use it in a product.
The following definitions describe each top-level process in the design
- The implementer configures and synthesizes the RTL.
- The integrator connects the implemented design into a SoC. This includes
connecting it to a memory system and peripherals.
- The system programmer develops the software required to configure and
initialize the processor, and tests the required application software.
Each stage in the process can be performed by a different party.
Implementation and integration choices affect the behavior and features of the processor.
MCUs, often a single design team integrates the processor before synthesizing the complete
design. Alternatively, the team can synthesize the processor on its own or partially
integrated, to produce a macrocell that is then integrated, possibly by a separate team.
The operation of the final device depends on:
- Build configuration
- The implementer chooses the options that affect how the RTL source files
are pre-processed. These options usually include or exclude logic that affects one or more
of the area, maximum frequency, and features of the resulting macrocell.
- Configuration inputs
- The integrator configures some features of the processor by tying inputs
to specific values. These configurations affect the start-up behavior before any software
configuration is made. They can also limit the options available to the software.
- Software configuration
- The programmer configures the processor by programming particular values
into registers. This affects the behavior of the processor.
Note: This manual refers to implementation-defined features that
are applicable to build configuration options. Reference to a feature that is included means
that the appropriate build and pin configuration options are selected. Reference to an enabled
feature means one that has also been configured by software.