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Synopsys, Xilinx unveil SoC design manual

Posted: 07 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:methodology  manual  FPGA  prototyping  SoC 

Synopsys Inc. and Xilinx Inc. jointly release the FPGA-Based Prototyping Methodology Manual (FPMM), a practical guide to using FPGAs as a platform for SoC development.

The FPMM incorporates design and verification know-how of companies that have successfully employed FPGA-based prototyping to accelerate complex ASIC and SoC development projects. These include BBC Research & Development, Design of System on Silicon, Freescale Semiconductor, LSI, NVIDIA, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

The manual covers all aspects of FPGA-based prototyping: the challenges and benefits of prototyping; the implementation of SoC design in FPGA; and its use for software and system validation. Synopsys and Xilinx expect the FPMM to be the catalyst for an online, interactive FPGA-based prototyping community where prototypers can raise challenges and exchange best practices.

Its authors are Doug Amos and René Richter of Synopsys, and Austin Lesea of Xilinx touted as experts in FPGA technology and prototyping of designs using FPGAs.

Since SoC designs are usually created for ASIC technology implementation, and therefore present specific challenges for implementation in one or more FPGA devices, the authors created a reference guide that will help first-time prototypers as well as experienced teams and project leaders.

In addition to surveying the range of prototyping options, from virtual prototyping through building custom boards to purchasing complete prototyping systems, the FPMM outlines a methodology called Design-for-Prototyping. Design-for-Prototyping integrates FPGA-based prototyping seamlessly into the ASIC/SoC project so that the design can be more readily implemented and made available at the earliest opportunity to the end-users. This approach delivers productivity benefits by connecting to system-level tools like virtual prototyping for earlier software development and during the crucial later stages of a project when hardware and software are integrated for the first time.

The FPMM has 15 chapters and two appendices covering real-world examples. The manual is organised into chapters that parallel the tasks and decisions faced during an FPGA-based prototyping project. The chapters are also designed to stand alone, allowing the manual to be used as a reference.

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