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Antmicro Integrates Embench for Quick Core-to-Core Performance Comparisons

Free and open source silicon pioneer Antmicro has published a series of benchmark results designed to pit a selection of cores head-to-head in real-world workloads, using the Embench benchmark suite maintained by the FOSSi Foundation.

“Embench, maintained by the FOSSi Foundation we proudly participate in, is an open source embedded benchmark test suite which aims to respond to the needs of modern embedded systems,” the company explains of its choice to use Embench. “It is free (as in both ‘beer’ and ‘freedom’ — you can get it from GitHub), easily portable, simple to use and provides a set of real programs, as opposed to the synthetic workloads offered by some of its proprietary counterparts.

“This allows it to accurately reflect how the tested CPU is going to behave once implemented in hardware. Being a suite rather than a single program, it allows the user to do tests with a complex, realistic workload and is easy to develop to accommodate the changes in compilers and hardware.”

Antmicro has taken Embench and run it across a selection of popular free and open source silicon cores, including VexRiscV, PicoRV32, Minerva, Microwatt, and Serv, covering the RISC-V, ML32, OpenRISC, and OpenPOWER instruction set architectures. Each is run through a collection of real-world workloads including hashing, cryptographic operations, sorting, and image compression, and their performance recorded.

“Here, we’ve used Embench to compare CPUs in multiple LiteX-based SoCs in an automatic CI [continuous integration] testing flow,” the company writes. …


Gareth Halfacree

Freelance journo. News editor, Author, Raspberry Pi & BBC Micro:bit User Guides. Custom PC columnist. Bylines in PC Pro, The MagPi, HackSpace etc.

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