Simon's Projects 1997
Hardware Oriented Projects:
Electronic ornaments
Dataflow DSP
Geomentric HDL
Self-timed processor simulator
Animated Strong ARM
Animated circuits

Self-timed Processor Simulator Toolkit


This project is to produce high level register transfer simulator toolkit for to assist self-timed processor design. The toolkit would include a discrete event simulator (i.e. timed message passing system) and graphical output monitor routines to assist debugging.

This would contrast other systems (e.g. LARD - see below) which are a language in themselves. The toolkit approach is far simpler and yet more flexible than a custom language approach albeit at the risk of reduced clarity (i.e. using the toolkit is likely to produce slightly larger code). However, this might be rectified by preprocessing code before compilation in order to replace compact syntactic sugar with more verbose code ready for compilation.

A toolkit approach has another big advantage - efficiency - the toolkit can be compiled with an industrial strength compiler where as a custom language is more likely to be interpreted or use poor compilation techniques due to lack of man effort to do any better.

Previous work

This is the first time I've proposed this project. However, I've supervised many projects which revolved around a discrete event simulator.

I very much like Phil Endecott's LARD (Language for Asynchronous Research and Development) but I think a simulation toolkit might be simpler (well, the complexity is already solved by another language design team) and faster. Also, his simulator won't go backwards!

Special resources


Possible supervisors

I'm willing to supervise this project.