With innovative electronic design platform FPGA embedded system design
FPGA has been available for more than 20 years, and now in the complexity of FPGA logic, as well as the field of digital signal processing plays an increasingly important role, SoC for its low-power, high-performance, low-cost, high reliability embedded systems, etc. become trends. However, speaking for many designers this is "nothing new." Learn and master a new technology or have a certain capacity, such as learning FPGA technology and its application to the real system, this is a difficult task. Altium Designer provides a simple and easy way to help hardware / software engineers to jointly deal with FPGA embedded system development challenges. Altium designer has a strong functions of embedded system design and design process is very convenient, and embedded in the FPGA has the following advantages of the intellectual:
1) full-featured, unified design environment
a) easy-to-use FPGA design tool chain (including schematic and mixed HDL language editor, compiler, an integrated browser and download)
b) a complete embedded software development environment (including the editor, compiler, generator, and debugger connector)
c) verification platform innovation system - NB2 (with a wealth of peripheral interface board and the FPGA can replace each other sub-board)
2) the development of digital combinational logic circuit function
a) a comprehensive pre-placement and connection of devices
b) circuit schematic and HDL mixed-language input method
c) a wealth of virtual instrument module
d) a high degree of abstraction of system design - OpenBus
e) the flexibility of c language to convert HDL language - CtoH
3) embedded software design features
a) professional coding environment
b) independent of the processor-Viper C-Compiler
c) object code free of transplantation - DSF
d) the complete source-level debugger
4) verification platform innovation system NB2 (implementation and debug your program)
a) independent of the daughter board FPGA vendors
b) a flexible board peripherals
c) real-time debug and update
d) the product of continuous research and development board
5) the design of an operational model for close integration between
a) the design of the mobile to the target hardware
b) PCB and FPGA design collaboration
Next, we will be under the Altium Designer platform, using a video capture output to experience examples of how easy, convenient way to achieve FPGA embedded system design. In this example, we will use Altium Designer and a few specifically targeted to improve design efficiency, simple design process and the development of specific functions. They include: OpenBus system development; FPGA project to automatically configure; processor software architecture - DSF.
In addition, this case will be combined with the board-level hardware NB2 resources to speed up the program and implementation of the process of verification;
* Composite video stream input module (Composite video capture)
* Touch TFT display module (Touchscreen TFT display)
Figure 1 is a system architecture diagram, the system can be applied to video-based capture and signal processing design.
Figure 1 Schematic diagram of system.
Traditional system design process
Traditionally, the response includes the design of FPGA devices and embedded systems software design development process need to go through three stages (Figure 2).
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Figure 2 system, the traditional design process
1, FPGA design;
2, PCB design;
3, embedded software design
Interface between each stage, successive achieved; because of the need to be finished by early in the design of components selection (including the FPGA devices and microprocessor), which will reduce the flexibility to achieve the overall program; for the design of the latter may be in the device performance and function of the expansion of areas such as emerging issues, designers need to spend more energy could make up for, or existing programs can only be replaced.
Figure 3, innovative system design flow.
Innovative system design flow
Using Altium Designer's FPGA platform embedded system design, we must first create a program for the FPGA system works, and in engineering design documents with the source added.
Combinational logic in the digital input circuit design, a FPGA project supports three types of input methods - schematics, HDL (Verilog or VHDL) as well as OpenBus. In addition, support for C++ code symbol input. You can use the input method of mixed input, and by the use of level schematic block diagram symbols used to the different combination of input documents. For FPGA projects, must be top-level schematic for the document, as it is to support the transfer from the FPGA to the PCB as well as synchronization. First of all, create a schematic diagram and add documents to projects. Shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 FPGA project and the new document generated by the project panel
Next, we OpenBus system design experience with simple and fast characteristics. OpenBus is a system-level FPGA design for the new method. It provides more than a simple schematic of the interface, but will not be lost because of its simple and the corresponding information. Because it can take into the bottom of the details automatically, so designers can focus on top-level system design and major components of the interconnection. These components are pre-integrated with, and the FPGA used in the development of IP components.
Figure 5 OpenBus panel
Altium Designer platform in OpenBus document editing environment (Figure 5 below), you will begin to experience how easy and convenient to the realization of the embedded system design FPGA. As shown in Figure 6, the overall program to achieve with our program planning and design, the description of the system is very similar to the structure of the framework. Used to achieve program requirements based on the functional unit, such as: 32-bit microprocessors, video input control module, TFT display control module, I2C control module (for the operation of video streaming data input processor control register unit parts), IP kernel module interconnection, SRAM control module and the bus arbitration module column from the list one by one OpenBus device placed within the current document editing, and complete the connection.
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Figure 6 Design OpenBus completed
Subsequently, also need to include the SRAM controller, bus arbiter, IP cores and microprocessor interconnect OpenBus components such as application configuration parameters. Altium Designer to support the device independent of the FPGA design of the original manufacturers. In other words, you can re-bind your design to other manufacturers a separate FPGA chips. This process of organ transplant through the Altium Designer Configuration Manager (configuration management) to be realized easily. Shown in figure 7, a different configuration file, as well as bound documents can be designed to re-bind to a different FPGA chips.
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Figure 7 Add a constraint file to the Configuration Manager
At this point, you have for your embedded system design to build a good platform for a complete application. Finally, you also need to add embedded intelligence for the system control software, the final completion of the embedded system design FPGA. Altium Designer platform for embedded software development under the feature will help you easily deal with software design challenges encountered; a built-in projects can be developed independently, but, ultimately, to the code running in the target processor. Altium Designer and easy way for you to connect your embedded project that contains the FPGA embedded processor core projects.
Examples of the processor core OpenBus document is 32-bit processors used in nuclear TSK3000A_1. Left click and drag items to the above embedded FPGA project. And project onto the TSK3000A_1 embedded processor core on the (FPGA core projects will be automatically highlighted). Shown in Figure 8. You connect these two projects, a new C header files are automatically added to the embedded projects. Hardware.h the header files compiled by the FPGA when the item is automatically generated. When completed the development of embedded software code, you can NB2 platform, real-time debugging and verification of your design. As the structure of this system started as shown in diagram, you can be caught by the camera video signal present in the TFT screen.
Figure 8 project to link the embedded processor core
If you would like to enhance the system performance of the video stream so that video images can be quickly TFT screen zoom and rotate, then the need to use Altium Designer's C-to-hardware conversion CHC. Also in the above-mentioned document OpenBus application-specific processor need to use asp components. The use of C-to-hardware functionality, you can determine which C code function required to achieve the number of combinational logic functions, which use microprocessors to achieve. As a result of the vector graphics hardware to achieve the zoom feature, which will be compared with the software more quickly. This can be carried out in the test examples.
After the completion of the FPGA design, Altium Designer also provides a quick way to FPGA projects can be directly converted to the corresponding PCB projects, and synchronize data between updates. In short, Altium Designer, as well as SOPC in the FPGA to provide a powerful and easy-to-use features, including unified, complete design environment; a variety of design input; independent flexible processor code; C-to-hardware; Reconfigurable authentication platform; independent of the FPGA design of the original manufacturers; design simulation; LiveDesign virtual instruments and interactive debugging, as well as convenient and efficient FPGA project to PCB project data synchronization. These features together with powerful software reconfigurable platform for the system to verify NB2 provides you with a powerful platform for innovation, innovation in this platform, designers can enjoy flying design inspiration, to create more valuable design.
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