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Xilinx tool suite targets system-level design

Posted: 29 Sep 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:xilinx? platform studio? platform fpga? tool suite? eclipse?

Xilinx tool suite targets system-level design

Xilinx Inc. has introduced v6.3i of the Platform Studio for system-level embedded processing design on Xilinx Platform FPGAs. The Platform Studio tool suite automates architecture-level design steps and offers a software environment based on the popular Eclipse integrated design environment (IDE).

Platform Studio 6.3i release supports the Xilinx processors, including the MicroBlaze and PowerPC cores. The 6.3i release enables system-level design for the Virtex-4 LX, SX and FX device families, and supports the Xilinx Virtex and Spartan-3 series Platform FPGAs.

The Platform Studio 6.3i embedded platform design environment consists of a set of tools that can abstract or hide system details while giving designers the ability to carry out a series of architectural design steps, according to Xilinx. Developers can boot a basic real-time embedded system within a matter of minutes.

The tool suite supports hardware/software platform design with a variety of design engines. It introduces the Platform Studio Software Development Kit (SDK) as an alternative software design environment. Software compiler, debugger and board support package (BSP) generation, as well as a base system builder and enhanced IP creation wizards are all included in Platform Studio. This suite of tool components is bundled with a processing IP library, software drivers, documentation, reference designs and the MicroBlaze soft processor IP core in the 6.3i release of the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK).

The 6.3i version introduces a graphical memory map manager to track system memory allocation, as well as linker script generation to expedite the process. The 6.3i IP library also includes a lightweight TCP/IP network software stack for use with Xilinx hardware processor implementations.

The Platform Studio Base System Builder supports the creation of hardware without requiring any specific target board. Xilinx says that users can generate and customize their own hardware implementations, rather than modify existing reference platforms or evaluation boards to match their own applications. User-defined functions allow hardware acceleration via direct connects between MicroBlaze processor cores and fast FPGA logic.

Additional features in the Platform Studio software include the MicroBlaze virtual platform target environment that facilitates software simulation before hardware is available and multi-core PPC debug rule checking.

Platform Studio 6.3i supports PowerPC and MicroBlaze designs for the Xilinx Virtex-4, Virtex-II Pro, Virtex-II Pro X, and Spartan-3 Series Platform FPGAs. It is available now for Windows 2000 SP2, SP3, SP4 and XP SP; Solaris 2.8/5.8 and 2.9/5.9; and Linux Red Hat Enterprise 3.0.

The EDK and Platform Studio 6.3i package is priced at $495 and includes licensing for the MicroBlaze soft processor. Additional can be found online.

- Lindsey Vereen

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