LONDON Gaisler Research AB has been awarded a contract worth 165,000 euros (about $220.000) by the Swedish National Space Board to develop the Leon-4 processor.
The aim of the development is to improve on the Leon-3 Sparc-compatible processor with respect to performance, Gaisler Research (Gothenburg, Sweden) said. The Leon-4 processor will be designed in a fault tolerant version for space applications and in a standard version for consumer and industrial applications.
Gaisler Research, founded in 2001, is a silicon IP licensor. Early versions of the Leon were made available on a royalty-free open-source license. It was while working for the European Space Agency that Gaisler developed Leon, a Sparc-compliant 32-bit processor, for which the design source code was made freely available. Gaisler now offers the Sparc v8-compliant Leon-2 and Leon-3 cores,
The Leon-4 design is expected to have an improved pipeline and wider cache memories giving a performance increase of between 25 percent and 50 percent for a typical application at the same clock frequency when compared to Leon-3. The Leon-4 core is expected to be available in the second half of 2007.