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Lattice upgrades FPGA design software

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FPGA? design? power?

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. has introduced the latest versions of Lattice Diamond and iCEcube2 design tools that according to the company feature improvements in power calculations and design productivity. The company added that the platforms are geared for the creation of mobile and consumer, communication and industrial systems that undergo fast design cycles, demand power efficiency and have aggressive cost constraints.

The updated Diamond Power Calculator contains a matrix that displays the power consumption of each block and each power supply. Also, the detailed power analysis for multiple design implementations can now be easily compared side by side in a new chart, extending the benefits of design exploration, stated Lattice. For power-aware FPGAs such as the Lattice MachXO2 device, designers, designers can view the detailed power analyses for the two power modes side by side.

Lattice Diamond software is designed to simply, create and explore different design implementations to achieve the aggressive design goals of low cost, high volume designs. New algorithms further speed timing closure for multi-pass runs. By dynamically fine tuning the netlist during placement to meet the characteristics of the device, innovative algorithms for the LatticeECP3 FPGA family achieve faster performance in the target device without incurring area penalties and increasing cost. Moreover, timing reports now include enhanced information on unconstrained timing paths that accelerates the analysis of design constraints and timing results.

Lattice Diamond 2.1 software's Hierarchy view is now automatically available alongside the File List and Process views. It displays design resource usage at various stages of the implementation process, and allows the user to move directly to the HDL source for each level of hierarchy, to designate any level of the hierarchy as the top of the design, and to generate symbols for any level of hierarchy.

Verification and debug has also been upgraded. The Reveal debugger now supports debug insertion into a mixed language design at the HDL level, preserving buses and type information. The Simulation Wizard has options that allow users unfamiliar with simulators to easily start simulations and trace signals.

To further help designers, updated documentation includes an expanded FPGA Design Guide with more information on HDL coding guidelines and timing analysis. A new tutorial provides in-depth information to help new users to begin working with the Lattice Diamond software.

The LatticeMico System's capability for generating system platforms has also been improved. Now, designers can easily expand the peripheral set of their microcontroller by connecting it to an FPGA that contains a peripheral-only platform generated by the LatticeMico System.

iCEcube2 software is the design environment for the Lattice iCE40 family of ultra-low density FPGA devices. The updated iCEcube2 software includes improvements that increase accuracy, said Lattice. The updated data also reflect wider temperature ranges to support both commercial and industrial devices, which gives designers greater confidence that their design will operate correctly in a variety of conditions. The power estimator also has improved data and algorithms that increase the accuracy of dynamic and static power calculations.

Two versions of the Lattice Diamond 2.1 design software can be downloaded from the Lattice website for Windows and Linux. Once downloaded and installed, the software can be used with either the Lattice Diamond free licence or the Lattice Diamond subscription licence.

The Lattice Diamond free licence can be generated immediately upon request from the Lattice website. It also fully enables Synopsys Synplify Pro for Lattice synthesis as well as the Aldec Lattice Edition II mixed-language simulator. Priced at $895 per year, the Lattice Diamond subscription licence includes all Lattice FPGAs including the LatticeECP3 FPGA family.

iCEcube2 software for Windows OS can be downloaded from the Lattice website, and is fully enabled at no cost with the Lattice Diamond free licence.





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