Processor extensibility with an external hardware module like FPGA or DSP core isn’t a new concept. However, there are no existing hardware solutions that allow the addition of extensions when a product is in the field. Implementations are fixed after tapeout, and there is no flexibility to enable new or custom instructions in a hardened design. That’s where adaptive embedded FPGA (eFPGA) IPs play a key role, unlocking such limitations.
An eFPGA allows hardware reconfigurability in the field by integrating IP core inside the CPU microarchitecture. Integrating secure hardware reconfigurable solutions to perform instruction set architecture (ISA) extension is the key differentiator of future semiconductor products.