In this chapter we have explored how FPGA hardware, in the form of hardware description language files, is created by the Impulse C compiler. We have also seen how these hardware processes may be connected to external hardware components, using a VHDL test bench for demonstration purposes. And lastly, we have explored some of the language-level optimizer controls available to you as an Impulse C program and have shown (briefly) how cycle-accurate debugging can be accomplished using a hardware simulator.
The chapters that follow spend more time exploring important topics related to hardware generation and optimization, using a series of examples as the basis for discussion. First, however, it is important for us to examine in more detail the statement-level optimizations available to you and to describe how certain programming techniques can help increase application performance.