Language For Instruction Set Architecture

Language For Instruction Set Architecture

LISA (Language for Instruction Set Architectures) is a language to describe the instruction set architecture of a processor. LISA captures the information required to generate software tools (compiler, assembler, instruction set simulator, ...) and implementation hardware (in VHDL or Verilog) of a given processor.

LISA has been used to re-implement the hardware of existing processor cores, keeping the binary compatibility with the legacy version, as all software tools did already exist and legacy compiled software images could be executed on the newly created hardware. Another application has been to generate the ISS (instruction set simulator) for RISC processors such the ARM Architecture ISSes.

LISA is not focused on the modeling of other on-chip components around the processor core itself, such as peripherals, hardware accelerators, buses and memories; Other languages such as SystemC can be used for these.

The language has not been yet standardised by IEEE or ISO and is currently owned by RWTH Aachen University, in Germany.

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