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What is a core?

In the context of computer chips, a core refers to an instance of a hardware design that represents a significant level of complexity and possesses a certain degree of functional independence.

While the term “core” is not limited to instruction processors, it is often used interchangeably with an instance of an instruction processor.

A core can be thought of as a self-contained processing unit within a larger chip, capable of executing instructions and performing various operations independently. It is typically designed to support a certain instruction set architecture (ISA), and consist of execution units, registers, caches, and other components necessary for instruction fetching, decoding, and execution.

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Where are cores used?

Cores can be found in various types of chips, including central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and other specialized processing units. Each core within a chip operates as a separate processing unit, capable of executing instructions and performing computations. That helps to achieve higher processing power, enabling simultaneous execution of multiple tasks and improved performance in multi-threaded or parallelizable workloads.

What types of core are available?

Codasip provides a set of cores compliant with RISC-V standards with different levels of complexity:

  • Embedded cores such as the 32-bit 3-stage Codasip L11 and Codasip L31 cores. Low-power cores are designed for embedded applications with significant energy constraints. These cores are highly configurable and can be extended with additional features such as FPU, caches, tightly-coupled memory, branch predictor, and more. Applications range from embedded IoT to high-performance embedded tasks.
  • Application cores such as the 64-bit 7-stage Codasip A70 core. These cores are capable of running an OS like Linux. The instruction set includes I, M, A, F, D, C extensions from the RISC-V set.

For a list of all processor core IPs from Codasip, visit our RISC-V processor page.

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