Successful Use of an Open Source Processor in a Commercial ASIC

Declan Staunton, Silicon & Software Systems Dublin, Ireland

Open source IP has been slow to take off in commercial IC development for very good reasons. Immaturity of designs, lack of support, licensing and warranty concerns would normally ensure open source IP cores are not even considered as solutions. However there are situations, and in the case of the LEON core, there are solutions that warrant consideration for certain types of application. Here we describe our experience in using the LEON processor in a commercial ASIC. Both benefits and drawbacks are described before concluding that LEON was an excellent solution for this design.