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This article describes a technique which provides a breakpoint function in a processor without the use of extra comparison logic and with minimal delay.
English (United States)
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Breakpoint Bit Technique for an Address Compare Function
This article describes a technique which provides a breakpoint function in a
processor without the use of extra comparison logic and with minimal delay.
A circuit designed for tracing the address flow of a processor
(microprocessor, digital signal processor, etc.) must make an address
comparison to begin or stop a trace. To do this a trigger address or breakpoint is
usually written to a breakpoint register. This register is periodically compared to
the address on the processor's address bus. If a match is detected by a
comparator circuit, a breakpoint is found and the address trace logic can begin or
halt a trace. This same technique is typically used in stop-on-address circuits to
halt a processor at a given address.
The logic required to perform a breakpoint detection typically consists of a
breakpoint register and a comparator as shown in Fig. 1. The size of the
breakpoint register and comparator depends on the size of the address bus
being monitored. For example, on a 14-bit address bus, the register and
comparator could easily take up over 100 logic gates if implemented in very
large-scale integration (VLSI).
The faster the processor, the faster the comparison must be made. This is
extremely important when monitoring very fast processors such as digital signal
Fig. 2 illustrates the technique of this disclosure wherein a 14- bit address
bus of a digital signal processor (DSP...