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MicroFpga = program an FPGA as it would be a MCU !

Started by Antti September 20, 2006
FPGA is not a MicroController?
.=2E.or is it !?

MicroFpga makes an FPGA to look like an MCU, and makes it programmable
as it would be a normal MCU without requiring any HDL knowledge or FPGA
implementation tools.

More details will be available from the product website
http://www.microfpga.com
.=2Esoon

Availability
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D

MicroFpga is currently only available for selected EAP members -
please contact eap@microfpga.com if you are interested to gain early
access.

MicroFpga is available NOW for the following devices
=B7	XC3S200-FT256
=B7	XC3S200-VQ100
=B7	XC3S1000-FT256

Requirement for EAP/Beta testing is the availability at the test site
of some FPGA hardware with any of the supported devices and possibility
to configure that FPGA by some means. It doesn't matter on what board
those FPGA's are mounted as long as there are some peripherals that
can be used for visual confirmation, single LED is sufficient already.

Software requirements
=B7	MicroBlaze GNU Tools
(get there http://www.xilant.com/downloads/mb_gnu_8.2.zip)
=B7	Installed Xilinx ISE WebPack (only data2mem is used)
=B7	JTAG Programming tool and cable
(or other means to configure the FPGA)

Antti Lukats
Xilant Technologies

Is this not similar to Xilinx's PPC and MicroBlaze cores using EDK?

Possibly a much cheaper solution?

Regards,
Kyle

Kyle H. schrieb:

> Is this not similar to Xilinx's PPC and MicroBlaze cores using EDK? > > Possibly a much cheaper solution? > > Regards, > Kyle
Hi Kyle, using PPC or MicroBlaze usually requires both ISE and EDK and usually some hardware (HDL) knowledge as well - isnt that so? using MicroFpga requires only 1) FPGA 2) C compiler it does *NOT* require 1) FPGA vendor provided tools 2) any HDL knoweldge there is a difference I think ;) Antti
> > using PPC or MicroBlaze usually requires both ISE and EDK and usually > some hardware (HDL) knowledge as well - isnt that so? > > using MicroFpga requires only > 1) FPGA > 2) C compiler > > it does *NOT* require > 1) FPGA vendor provided tools > 2) any HDL knoweldge > > there is a difference I think ;)
Ok, I'll bite... So why is it better than using an MCU? Cheers, Jon
Jon Beniston schrieb:

> > > > using PPC or MicroBlaze usually requires both ISE and EDK and usually > > some hardware (HDL) knowledge as well - isnt that so? > > > > using MicroFpga requires only > > 1) FPGA > > 2) C compiler > > > > it does *NOT* require > > 1) FPGA vendor provided tools > > 2) any HDL knoweldge > > > > there is a difference I think ;) > > Ok, I'll bite... > > So why is it better than using an MCU? > > Cheers, > Jon
Jon, have you seen a MCU with 1700+ pins? :) MicroFgpa makes FPGA to look like MCU that can access ALL FPGA pins available on a given package. It does not require any external components, no proper ext reset signal or any external clocks. I am not saying it is somehow better - its just an option, an option to run normal C programs on any FPGA, can be really useful for board testing, in education, doing funny things...? setting up an FPGA project for initial PCB board bringup takes time right? with MicroFpga you can INSTANTLY test the PCB using test programs written in plain C not a minute wasted with synthesis or P&R. if I count the minutes, hours and days I have spent with board bringup and test FPGA designs - it could be come years of time that I could have be saved. Antti PS I just received email from our first MicroFpga EAP member who confirms the functionality on Digilent Spartan3 Starterkit. (as I dont have any boards with that FPGA then I had not tested it myself - but it was working!)
And you can probably run 12 picoblaze (or whatever Antti has) at 40
MIPS in XC3S200-FT256.
I think it is better than 300 mhz single blackfin or PPC in terms of
number of i/o, access speed of i/o..

Antti <Antti.Lukats@xilant.com> wrote:
> FPGA is not a MicroController? > ...or is it !? > > MicroFpga makes an FPGA
YASC - Yet Another Soft Core. How thrilling. pete -- pete@fenelon.com "I once coaxed a dog into a library" - Tommy Saxondale
Pete Fenelon wrote:
> YASC - Yet Another Soft Core. How thrilling. > > pete
Good point. Any soft core needs to be compatible somehow otherwise what's the point. Not that this one isn't...I don't know. Does gcc work with it? Either linux or ucLinux support the cpu? Is it PIC, AVR, MIPS, ARM compatible? Too many "no"'s means forget it... -Dave -- David Ashley http://www.xdr.com/dash Embedded linux, device drivers, system architecture
Pete Fenelon schrieb:

> Antti <Antti.Lukats@xilant.com> wrote: > > FPGA is not a MicroController? > > ...or is it !? > > > > MicroFpga makes an FPGA > > YASC - Yet Another Soft Core. How thrilling. > > pete > -- > pete@fenelon.com "I once coaxed a dog into a library" - Tommy Saxondale
Pete, it's even far less thrilling, its not even another soft core :) I am far too lazy. So I am not inventing when there is no need. Antti
Will it be available in Spartan2 or VirtexE?

Antti wrote:
> Pete Fenelon schrieb: > > > Antti <Antti.Lukats@xilant.com> wrote: > > > FPGA is not a MicroController? > > > ...or is it !? > > > > > > MicroFpga makes an FPGA > > > > YASC - Yet Another Soft Core. How thrilling. > > > > pete > > -- > > pete@fenelon.com "I once coaxed a dog into a library" - Tommy Saxondale > > Pete, > > it's even far less thrilling, its not even another soft core :) > I am far too lazy. So I am not inventing when there is no need. > > Antti