A Reverse-Encoding-Based On-Chip Bus Tracer for Efficient Circular-Buffer Utilization

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Hardware debuggers and logic analyzers must be able to record a continuous trace of data. Since the trace data are tremendous, to save space, these traces are often compressed. The compression algorithm must be simple for hardware implementation; a common method is to store only the difference between the previous value and the current one. Such differential compression has trouble with the circular buffer that is needed for recording continuous traces. Previous solutions are complex and waste memory. By a transformation that expresses differential compression in reverse form, one derives a new solution that is simpler than previous methods and does not waste memory.