Specification of intel IA-32 using an architecture description language

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


Designing, testing, and producing a new computer processor is a complex and very expensive process. To reduce costly mistakes in hardware, the microarchitecture is usually designed and tested with the aid of a software simulator. The FAST System enables microarchitects to develop architecture simulators rapidly and is less error-prone than using a high level language such as C. In this paper, we describe how the FAST System's Architecture Description Language (ADL) has been extended to facilitate the description of complex instruction sets such as Intel's IA-32 instruction set architecture. In this respect, we demonstrate that the notion of inheritence, a key concept in object oriented programming languages can be extended for selective inheritence to enable the specification of complex instruction set architectures in architecture description languages.

Publisher's Statement

© International Federation for Information Processing 2005. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-24590-1_10

Publication Title

Architecture Description Languages