# whats the difference among soft processor and hard processor

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#### ash

##### Full Member level 3
hard processor vs soft processor

Hi,
What's the difference among soft processor and hard processor. Xilinx has softprocessor as microblaze and hardprocessor as powerpc.

#### jelydonut

##### Full Member level 4
Re: whats the difference among soft processor and hard proce

Soft just means that you have either RTL or netlist which is then mapped into the FPGA..

Hard means that there is a uP in the fabric of the chip itself, Virtex2Pro has 4 PowerPC cores if i remember correctly.. and im assuming you would just instantiate the core as you would dual port ram.

jelydonut

### ash

Points: 2

#### eltonjohn

Re: whats the difference among soft processor and hard proce

A soft processor is called an IP core .And as our buddy Jellydonut said is a design that can be implemented out of general purpose logic like on a FPGA .There are some little ones that even fit on a CPLD ..A hard processor well those are the historically commonly well know processors .
Soft processor are interesting because you can do well optimized designs where you choose to use only the peripherals that you need.
Why is that only know such distinction ARISES????
Well is because of the tremendous avances in FPGA technology .Where you can now implement several 8 bit to 32 bit cpus running at 200 Mhz or more .Such devices speed are not matched yet by the standard microntroller industry manufacturers .And i could say that that distance will only grow bigger with time .,Some day no too far you will be perfectly capable of implemnting 1 ghz 8 to 32 bits SOFT cpus on a FPGA .. This will only be decided on a price and need basis.

Cheers

#### shekar_vlsi

##### Member level 1
Re: whats the difference among soft processor and hard proce

hard processors are the one which are already fabricated onto the chip.whereas softcore processors are in the HDL form called as IP's

#### sp

##### Full Member level 6
eltonjohn wrote:
Code:
...Such devices speed are not matched yet by the standard microntroller industry manufacturers

u mean the conventional "microprocessor" like intel & AMD...
as "microntroller" is not really fast... like 8051/PIC... FPGA can support higher clk frequency than most uC.... true??..

regards,
sp

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