Atmel Selects Target Compiler's Chess/Checkers Retargetable Tool Suite

Target Compiler Technologies announced today that Atmel(R) Corporation successfully adopted its Chess/Checkers retargetable tool suite as an integrated design and programming environment for the floating-point DSP in its dual-processor platform. This platform is targeted at high-end consumer applications such as hands -free phones, robotics, acoustic diagnostics, sound processing, music synthesis, and ultrasound scanners.

The availability of an integrated design and programming environment, including an efficient optimizing C compiler for the floating-point DSP, is considered an essential prerequisite by Atmel for the successful development of nextgeneration dual-processor platforms and for their deployment in the market place. Target’s Chess/Checkers retargetable tool suite, which is built around a patented graph-based C compiler technology, was licensed by Atmel in May 2005. “After an evaluation of different compiler solutions, we selected the Chess/Checkers technology of Target,” said Benedetto Altieri, director of Atmel’s Advanced DSP center in Rome, Italy. “In the first phase, we used Target’s nML processor description language and the retargetable tool suite to model our floating-point DSP architecture. We were able to tune the instruction-set architecture for better performance, using feedback from Target’s retargetable compiler and simulator. In the second phase, a software development tool-kit for the DSP was generated which Atmel can now deliver to its customers and partners,” Altieri explained.

Pier Stanislao Paolucci, technology director at Atmel’s Advanced DSP center, confirm ed that the quick availability of an efficient C compiler was a compelling reason for selecting Target’s tool suite. “Target’s C compiler offers advanced optimizations like pointer disambiguation and software pipelining, which are very beneficial to exploit the instruction-level parallelism of VLIW architectures,” Paolucci said. “Benchmark tests revealed that the execution time of the machine code generated by Target’s C compiler is very close to the optimal solution for our DSP architecture,” stated Andrea Ricciardi, manager of Atmel’s Application Development Environment group for the floating-point DSP. “In addition, Target also delivered a solution for on-chip debugging of our DSP. It was easy to interface Target’s debug hardware modules with the AMBA(TM)-AHB bus of our chip to access the DSP’s memory sub-system,” Ricciardi added.

“We are very pleased that Atmel has chosen Target as its software tool partner for its new dual-processor platform,” said Gert Goossens, CEO of Target. “While our tools are often used to design and program fixed-point custom processors or ASIPs, the application to Atmel’s DSP underscores the wide architectural scope of our tools, covering for example also floating-point and VLIW architectures. We believe that Atmel’s dual-processor platform is a very interesting high-performance solution that will fill an important space in the SoC landscape.”

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(R).

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About Target Compiler Technologies
Target Compiler Technologies NV is the leading provider of retargetable software tools to accelerate the design, programming and verification of flexible processor cores, from embedded processors to programmable ASICs. Target’s Chess/Checkers tool suite has been applied by customers worldwide to design application-specific instruction-set processors (ASIPs) for diverse application domains, including GSM and WCDMA handsets, VoIP, audio coding, car infotainment, ADSL and VDSL modems, wireless LAN, hearing instruments, mobile image processing and various control and interfacing applications. Target is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has distribution channels in different parts of the world. Target is a spin-off of IMEC.