Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Microcode
3. DoGav Systems' Microcode Customization Service
1.1 What is PowerQUICC microcode?
The CPM contains 4-8 trap registers. Any enabled trap register is constantly compared with the CPM program counter for a match. When a hit is encountered, the CPM RISC jumps to the associated microcode program and begins to execute it. When completed the RISC is returned to the ROM (either directly or indirectly)
Yes and no. A patch is a microcode with a small footprint, which typically fixes an existing ROM problem, which was discovered after the silicon chip was manufactured. A microcode utility or program is typically bigger and enhances the features and/or functionality available in ROM (e.g. protocol parser).
1.4 What is microcode customization?
When the PowerQUICC architecture was introduced, the clock speed of the early devices was not fast enough to enable it to handle layers three and four functionality. For example, when the PowerQUICC II was introduced in late 1998, the CPM speed was only 133MHz. Now the CPM can run at more than 300MHz. Furthermore, on the QUICC engine, there are two RISCs engines.
1.7 Can everyone write microcode program?
2.1 What are the advantages of using a microcode
In terms of throughput, anything between 10% and 1000%!
By operating On-The-Fly, hence eliminating the need for costly load/store operations. Every payload bit in the packet/frame/character is seen by the CPM on its way to/from a FIFO from/to am application memory. As such the CPM can handle much of what used to be an application task while the bit stream stored temporarily in the DPRAM. This saves considerable amount of cycle by eliminating the need for a load/store operation. In addition, the microcode program must be, by definition, extremely efficient, due to low-level programming, and the relatively limited on-chip ROM/RAM capacity.
3. DoGav Systems' Microcode Customisation Service
3.1 How easy is it to install a customized microcode?
depends... Once you submit your microcode request using the
Microcode Request Form we will carry out an
evaluation of your requirements (free of charge), and will provide you with a
detailed price quotation. In general the price will depend on the complexity of
the requested features.
Again, it depends... The deciding factors are the complexity of the requirements and our workload. A typical microcode takes from several weeks to several months to develop.
Yes. The RAM dedicated to microcode in the DPRAM (HIP 7) allows for very large microcode programs. In fact it is so large that it can hold the entire ROM standard library.
3.5 Can I have a microcode example to figure out how
simple it is to use?
Every DoGav Systems' microcode package comes with up to 4 hours of integration support, a 12 months warranty, and an optional annual software maintenance contract, which includes free updates/upgrades and priority free technical support with guaranteed response time. Please contact us if you wish to see the full details.
In order to protect its intellectual property, NXP prohibits all members of its Open QUICC Engine Program from providing their customers with an un-encrypted version of microcode source code.
Some of our customers have express their concern in the past that their position could potentially be jeopardized should DoGav Systems dissolves or is unable to support them. (Note that we have been trading for over 25 years and have no intention of stopping just yet...).
To alleviate this concern we have reached an agreement with NXP that enables us to provide our customers with an encrypted archived copy of the source code. The key/password required to decrypt the archive will be retained by NXP.
In the event that DoGav Systems dissolves or provides a written statement explaining why it cannot continue to support the customer, then NXP may use the password on the customer's encrypted archive to retrieve the source, and redistribute it another OpenQE 3rd party.
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