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Serial IO toolkit simplifies debug of Virtex-4 FX RocketIO transceivers

Posted: 14 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ChipScope Pro? Serial IO toolkit? Xilinx? RocketIO transceiver? Ismini Scouras?

Based on the ChipScope Pro debug and verification software, Xilinx Inc.'s Serial IO toolkit is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of debugging high-speed serial IO designs.

The ChipScope Pro Serial IO toolkit simplifies the real-time debug of RocketIO multi-gigabit transceivers on Virtex-4 FX FPGAs. The toolkit allows designers to analyze systems using all major serial IO standards, such as PCI Express, Serial RapidIO, Gigabit Ethernet, XAUI and Fiber Channel. Applications include storage subsystem, communication line card and backplane applications.

"With the number of applications integrating serial connectivity is rapidly expanding, traditional test solutions are falling short in their ability to address the complex on-chip verification challenges that result," said Chuck Tralka, director of product marketing, advanced products division at Xilinx. "Our new toolkit closes this gap by providing designers with real-time control and on-chip access for debug at just a fraction of the cost of comparable solutions. Access to quick start, easy-to-use tools will further accelerate adoption of the most advanced high-speed serial IO in the semiconductor industry."

The Serial IO Toolkit costs less than 0.1 percent of comparable bit error ratio tester (BERT) benchtop hardware products, according to the company. It uses an integrated, IBERT core that enables control of all Virtex-4 FX multi-gigabit transceiver settings and supports multiple channels on the same device. The embedded core transmits and receives serial IO signals using a built-in pattern generator and pattern detector to measure bit error ratios with resulting data displayed in real time. The toolkit also features a control panel that lets designers quickly change RocketIO multi-gigabit transceiver parameter.

The ChipScope Pro system allows engineers to insert parameterized logic analyzer, bus analyzer, and Virtual I/O low-profile debug and verification cores directly into the FPGA design. Thee cores provide access and visibility of any internal signal or node, including processor buses. Signals are captured and brought out through the JTAG programming interface, minimizing pins required for debug.

The ChipScope Pro Serial IO Toolkit is an add-on option to the ChipScope Pro debug system, and includes the IBERT debug core and control console. The toolkit is available for Windows PC, Solaris, or Linux workstations. For a limited time, Xilinx is offering the ChipScope Pro Serial IO Toolkit free of charge to existing in-maintenance ChipScope Pro users. New users can purchase the ChipScope Pro system and also receive the Serial IO Toolkit at no charge for a limited time.

The ChipScope Pro system and optional Serial IO Toolkit may be ordered through the company's online store. The ChipScope Pro system is priced at $695.

- Ismini Scouras
eeProductCenter




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