More about designing with embedded FPGAs - Embedded.com

More about designing with embedded FPGAs

For your convenience, collected here the mostrecent How-To and Technical Insight articles onEmbedded.com on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs),programmable logic devices (PLDs), and other  reconfigurabledevices and systems. We are constantly updating this list, so checkback occasionally to see what's new:

2008

Achievehigher accuracy using mixed signal FPGA calibration
Mixed signal FPGAs can be a key element in an effective in-circuitanalog signal channel calibration technique.
Videoencoding with low cost FPGAs for multichannel H.264 surveillance
Build a high performance  quad-channel H.264 encoder using lowcost, low power FPGAs to deliver higher resolutions and frame rates.
SolvingFPGA I/O pin assignment challenges
A step by step guide to helping you plan pin outs on complex FPGAs
Modulararithmetic – a devisive issue
Good techniques for FPGA implementations of the mod operation have notbeen widely known. Here's the scoop on the details.
Howto improve FPGA based ASIC prototyping with SystemVerilog
FPGA prototyping is not without its difficulties, with one majorobstacle being the connection of all the logic blocks both witin anFPGA and across multiple FPGA devices.
Replacingobsolete video game circuits with Xilinx CPLDs
The author repaces a defective part in a 1980s game system to show howto replace a range of parts that vendors are no longer producing.
Howto defend agains clonng of your FPGA designs
Having your designed cloned by a competitor isn't fun. Here's how tofoil such copying.
ProductHow-To: Building a configurable embedded processor
By combining Xilinx FPGAs, Impulse's EDA tools and a bit of inginuity,embedded designers can extend the instruction set of the processorsrunning in the FPGAs to add their own fuctions to a design.
Bridgingoptions enable FPGA based configurable computing
As PCI Express continues to invade embedded systems, the history oflegacy PCI is repeating itself.
UseFPGAs to improve wireless subsystem performance
By off loading operations that require high speed parallel processingonto FPGAs, wireless system performance in such operatins as FIRfiltering, FFTs, digital down and up conversion, and FEC blocks can beimproved.
Microcontrollerdesign in FPGAs
The union of MCU intellectual property cores with FPGAs provides farmore flexible hardware platforms than traditional MCU ASSPs.
ProductHow-To: Analyze and reduce FPGA power using Libero IDE
Meeting lowpower FPGA design specs requires automatic power reductioncapabilities coupled with sophisticated power analysis features.
Howto interface FPGAs to MCUs
Neither microcontrollers or FPGAs were developed to communicate witheach other efficiently, so interfacing the two can be a challenge.
Usingprogrammable logic for efficient and effective DSP design.
With an FPGA front end that allows access to the latest I/O technology,as well as IP blocks for the latest standards, designers have theflexibility to choose the right interfaces without making changes inthe DSP software.
ProductHow-To: Simplify power design development and evaluation for FPGA basedsystems
Topics convered: validation of power supply voltage at the FPGA, real time monitoring of Vccint power consumption and realistic powerestimates using accurate on-die teperture measurements.
Overcomethe management complexity of FPGA/PCB pin synchronization
Given a unified electronics design tools, it is possible to overcomethe increasing complexity of developing designs based on FPGAs andharness their benefits.
Howto select CPLDs for handheld apps
CPLDs offer designers with a low cost system solution with significantadvantages over traditional designs based on ASICs and ASSPs.t
Timingdriven Simulink FPGA synthesis
The latests Simulink block sets take in top level system timingconstraints to achieve a level of performance previously only possiblewith hand coded HDL.
ProductHow-To: Building a simple power supply for an FPGA – Part 1
ProductHow-To: Building a simple power supply for an FPGA – Part 2
DC/DC building block systems such as Linear Technology's micromodulesare a good solution for simple and compact low voltage, high currentpower supply apps..
Toaccelerate or not to accelerate
Many of the implementations we use today are the way they are becauseof 40 years of von Neuman programming and thinking on non-configurableprocessor architectures.
Howto perform meaningful benchmarks on FPGAs from different vendors
A suite of  unbiased and meaningful benchmarks that truly comparethe hardware architectures and software design tools from FPGA vendors.
Howto design portable handsets using CPLDs
The different ways in which complex PLDs can be used to address theshortcomings associated with hardset platforms.
Makingdesign choices between DSPs and FPGAs
Systems designers face key questions during the architecture phase oftheir project. One of those questions: Whether to use an FPGA or a DSP?
DSPor FPGA? How to choose the right device.
Design guidelines you need to choose betwen an DSP or an FPGA
ProductHow-To: C-based processor design: Part 2: Datapath customization
How Cebatech's C2R C-to-RTL compiler was used to customize and validatethe data path of a G723.2/G729.A speech coding accelerator.
ProductHow-To: C-based processor design: Part 1 – SIMD architecture
How Cebatech's C2R C-to-RTL compiler was used to implement a speechcoding accelerator, which attaches to a scalar processor core, featuresa configurable mic4cro-architecture and instruction set architecture.
ProductHow-To: Multimode sensor processing with Ambrics's massively parallelprocessor arrays
A multimode sensor processor that is upwardly scalable, reconfigurableand programmable, wile reducing development costs and time to market.
Softwaredefined silicon: Why can't hardware be more like soft ware?
It can, even though the next generation multicore designs mixprogrammable logic, CPU blocks and dedicated logic. But it requires anew approach to architectural design.
GettingFPG and PCB designers to agree on common I/O
Getting the pin assignment portion of the design process under controlis essential in order to realize the benefits of FPGAs.
Howto implement a HD video design framework for FPGAs
Exploring a video design framework that can allow for a faster designcycle: component can be used collectively or you can pick and choose asrequired.
ProductHow-To: Speed auto/industrial display design with Xylon cores, XilinxFPGAs
A compact mutlimedia display development platform for automotive andindustrial apps combines Xilinx FPGAs and Xylon IP cores to build arear seat entertainment system using inexpensive twisted pair wiring,navgiation and human interfaces or process monitoring and control.
Cto hardware tools add software-centricity to FPGAs in embedded systems
Here are some tools that can extend traditional methods of programming FPGAs using HDLs or schmatics.
FPGAprototyping grows up
ASIC, ASSP and SoC development will always be a risky business. Here'sa look at some alternatives.
Programmingyour own microcontroller
When this article was written 20 years ago, the FPGA was only fiveyears old and not yet widely use. Here's an early how-to on PLD designthat stands the test of time.
UsingFPGAs to avoid microprocessor obselescence
The options available to designers facing microprocessor andmicrocontroller obsscelesence using FPGAs.
ProductHow-to: FPGA video programming with Agility's graphical environment
A review of Agility's Pixelstream graphical programming tools for imageand video algorithms and an examination of the the design flow and howit works with Agiliity's C-based design environment.
ComparingIP integration approaches for FPGA imprementation
Avoiding the fixed routing and timetable of a standard bus can open upnew avenues for design and restore a bit of glamour and creativity to amundane project.
DSPsvs FPGAs for multiprocessing
Here's what available for high performance multiprocessor systems andhow you can make the best choice between DSPs, FPGAs, or a hybridmixture.
FPGA-basedprototyping – Productivity to burn
Highlights of recent advanced in FPGA design that can help you set up,implement, and verify your FPGA-bsed ASIC prototype faster.
Howto achieve timing closure in high-end FPGAs.
Using graph-bassed physical synthesis to achieve timing capacity inhigh density, high performance FPGAs.
FPGAstackle MCU tasks -Part 2: Flexible CPUs
FPGAs offer flexibility to handle the explosion of electronic contentin today's automotive systems.
FPGAstackle MCU tasks -Part 1: App grouth strains ASIC architectures
FPGAs offer flexibility to handle the explosion of electronic contentin today's automotive systems
Designrecipes for FPGAs – A simple VGA interface
Here is a tutorial from a recently published book that provides adesktop reference for engineers who use FPGAs as their hardwareplatform.
Theart of FPGA construction
Working with FPGAs isn't intimidating when you know the basictechniques and options

2007
QuantifyFPGA system simultaneous switching noise in chip/package/PCB designs
This article offers an overview of the system level simultaneousswiching noise issues (SSN) in FPGA designs as the output buffer noisemargines of I/O interfaces have become smaller.
Usingoff-the-shelf technology & FPGAs to replace custom hardware: Part2.
The second part in a series, this article examines the issues designersneed to keep in mind when creating custom hardware in an industrialsetting.
Usingoff-the-shelf technology & FPGAs to replace custom hardware: Part 1
This article focusses on chosing the right hardware platform forindustrial and control applications and some of the challengesengineers face.
ApplyingFPGAs in system-critical automotive electronics
FPGA technology is expanding in under-the-hood power train and safetysystems applications.
DesigningDDR3 SDRAM controllers with today's FPGAs
This article outlines the differences betweeen DDR3 and DDR2 SDRAMarchitectures and reviews them in the context of an FPGA-basedreference design tested in hardware at 800 Mbps.
Virtuallyevery ASIC ends up an FPGA
Because up to 90% of all ASICs are either partially or completelyprototyped before tape-out, the question is no longer whether toimplement an IC design as either an ASIC or FPGA; now, most designteams must do both.
Convertan FPGA to a gate array at project start.
Selecting a gate array early in the design cycle can bring with it manyadvantages.
Howto implement double precision floating-point on FPGAs
The real results of a double-precision matrix multiply core that caneasily be extended to a full DGEMM benchmark are demonstrated.
Howto enhance signal integrity in high density FPGA based designs
The authors discuss the anomolies that can be introduced between theconnecting wires on a high density FPGA based board design and how toprevent them.
Cost-effectivetwo-dimensional rank-order filters on FPGAs
Here's how to use FPGAs as co-, pre- and post-procssing hardwareacceleration solutions for video and imaging.
 Top-downDSP design for FPGAs
High level C++ synthesis in combination with FPGAs is anattractive soluition for achieving a rapid path from C++ to RTL runningin hardware.
Howto design an FPGA from scratch
When veteran ASIC designer Sven Andersson determined to learnhow to work with FPGAs, he decided to create this step by step tutorialto teach others.
Acceleratesystem performance with hybrid multiprocessing and FPGAs
Multiprocessing is becoming a key differentiator for FPGA-basedprocessor architectures.
 FPGA-basedhardware acceleration of C/C++ based apps: Part 3
The team at Impulse Accelerated Technologies explains how stateof the art C to hardware tools simplify the development ofFPGA-accelerated algorithms.
Embeddeddevelopers should embrace FPGAs
The use of FPGA devices is a driving factor in the success ofusing software to reduce hardware complexity. The technique alsoprovides an open ended flexibility that comes from transferring thecontrolling elements of a design into the programmable space.
AnFPGA design flow for video imaging applications
This tutorial examines some of the challenges when implementingvideo applications in FPGAs and details how certain tools can be usedto alleviate key design challenges.
Implementingfloating-point DSP on FPGAs
Here's how to use PicoBlaze processors for high performance,power-efficient floating point DSP.
Usingcustomizable MCUs to bridge the gap between dedicated SoC ASSPs, ASICsand FPGAs: Part 2
In the second in a series of articles the author describes thedetails of a metal programmable cell fabric and how it can be used tocustomize an ARM-based SoC design to your application needs.
Usingcustomizable MCUs to bridge the gap between dedicated SoC ASSPs, ASICsand FPGAs: Part 1
In the first in a series of articles, the case is made for metalprogrammable cell fabrics combining customizable logic with a standardprocessor core as alternatives to ASICs and FPGAs.
Softwareintensive ASICS/ASSPs demand prototyping solutions
FPGA-based prototypes are an ideal software development platformfor several reasons, including increased simulation speed, lowerdevelopment costs and improved quality of design.
Howto simplify hardware prototyping with EXP modules
The new EXP specification defines a versatile expansioninterface to FPGA baseboards that offers designers flexibility,performance and ease of use during harware development.
 Puta configurable 32-bit processor in your FPGA
Employing a configurable processor in your FPGA gives you lots ofoptions not available with a fixed microprocessor, particularly theability to adapt to a wide variety of application requirements. DesigningPC boards with speedy FPGAs
The die, chip package and board form a closely coupled system wherecareful PCB design is needed to fully realize the capabilities of anFPGA.
Atutorial on tools, techniques and methodologies to improve FPGAdesigner productivity
Providing the ability to quickly understand the timimg state of adesign is crucial to the effectiveness of any FPGA design environment.
Expandingapplications for low cost FPGAs
The need for, and approaches to, providing enhanced low cost FPGAcapability in the areas of SERDES, DSP, high speed source synchronousI/O, memory capacity and device configuration.
Putting FPGAs to work in  software radio systems, Part 3
Part 3 in this series provides an overview of some software radiosystems that can be designed with today's high performance FPGAs
Putting FPGAs to work in  software radio systems, Part 2
Part 2 in this series traces the use of FPGA products through severalapplication examples, discussing how to take advantage of differentdesign options
Putting FPGAs to work in  software radio systems, Part 1
This multipart report discusses the strengths of FPGAs and how they canoptimally used in software radio systems. Part one focess on the basicelements of a software radio receiver system.
Opensource soft microprocessors promise a new era in embedded design
While open source licensing of software microprocessors allows thedesign of easily modifiable FPGAS and greater visibility into CPUarchitectures, it is important to understand the implications ofassociated licensing models.
 Howto map the H.264/AVC video standard onto an FPGA fabric
A brief tutorial on the code efficiency enhancements to the H.264/AVCstandard, the technical challenges they present and how to map the speconto an FPGA fabric.
UseESL synthesis to replace dedicated DSPS with FPGAs
 If your application isn't the most compute intensive, you mayfind that using an FPGA as a replacement is a good idea.
Howto improve design level security with low cost non-volatile FPGAs
Design level security features in 90 nm nonvolatile FPGAs address theissues  of overbuilding, cloning and reverse engineering
Howto design an FPGA architecture tailored for efficiency and performance
How does an FPGA company decide on a particular architecture. Theauthor walks us through the process used to develop Altera's AdaptiveLogic Module.
UsingFPGAs in an IEEE 1588 Precision Time control design
The 1588 standard  precision time protocol is being used inindustrialautomation networks base on Ethernet, providing accurate timingsynchronization for distributed control nodes.
AchievingTiming Convergence in your FPGA-based designs
GenerateFPGA accelerators from C
ReducingFPGA Compile Time Using Parallel Compilation Methodology 
Designingcustom embedded multicore processors

Howto design 65nm FPGA DDR2 memory interfaces for signal integrity
Howto Choose the Right FPGA
Howto maximize FPGA performance

2006
MinimizingFPGA power consumption
Howto implement high-security in low-cost FPGAs
Controla three-phase full-wave rectifier with an FPGA
AcceleratingArchitecture Exploration for FPGA Selection and System Design
MakingFPGAs work for embedded developers – Part 2
Howto tackle serial backplane challenges with high-performance FPGAs
Howto utilize advanced FPGA features without getting locked into anarchitecture
MakingFPGAs work for embedded developers: Part 1
UseFPGAs to design PCI Express endpoint solutions
Implementingmatrix inversions in fixed-point hardware
BuildingSCA-compliant Software-defined Radios
TechTutorial: Use CPLDs to manage average power consumption
FPGAArchitectures from 'A' to 'Z' : Part 2
Howto get the best cost savings when implementing an FPGA-to-ASICconversion
EncodingJPEG2000 using both DSP and FPGA
FPGAArchitectures from 'A' to 'Z' : Part 1
Howto accelerate algorithms by automatically generating FPGA coprocessors
Unitealgorithm and hardware design flows
Howto use the Trace Port on PowerPC 405 cores
Videoand image processing design using FPGAs
Fastinsight into MicroBlaze-based FPGA designs with the MicroBlazeTrace Core (MTC)
Howto speed FPGA debug with measurement cores and a mixed-signaloscilloscope
Core-assistedapproach accelerates debug of FPGA DDR II interfaces
ImplementingPCI Express Designs using FPGAs
Howto create fixed- and floating-point IIR filters for FPGAs
Reducesimultaneous switching output noise with a stand-alone SerDes
Alow-cost solution for FPGA-based PCI Express implementation
Howto lower the cost of PCI Express adoption by using FPGAs
Howto build reliable FPGA memory interface controllers without writingyour own RTL code!
Howto combine FPGAs and DSPs to get the best base station performance
PlatformFPGA design for high-performance DSPs
Designingwith an embedded soft-core processor
C-Languagetechniques for FPGA acceleration of embedded software
FPGAsfor prototyping – ASICs for production
Backto the Basics: All about FPGAs
ASICto FPGA migration: myth or reality?
Usingsoftcore-based FPGAs to balance hardware/software needs in a multicoredesign
Increasingvisibility in FPGA prototypes and emulators
FPGA-basedplatform speeds in-vehicle testing
Howto achieve fast timing closure on FPGA designs
OptimizingDSP functions in advanced FPGA architectures

2005
Apractical approach to reusing HDL code in FPGA designs
Simplifyyour multiprocessor-based network design with multicore FPGAs
FPGASoft Processor Design Considerations
Architectingthe right FPGA solution for your DSP design
ImplementingDSP Functions Within FPGAs
Howto Integrate Flash Device Programming and Reduce Costs
ProgrammableSystem Chips: An alternative to MCU-based designs?
Usingalorithmic synthesis tools to simplify DSP design on FPGAs
Backto the basics: Programmable Systems on a Chip
Howto reduce costs by integrating PCI interface functions into CPLDs
Performingrapid and safe evaluations at the architectural level
UsingFPGA starter kits to jump start an embedded system design
EmbeddingFPGAs in DSP-driven Software Defined Radio applications
FPGAsaid in high-end memory interface design
Addressingwireless mesh networking challenges
Howto create beam-forming smart antennas using FPGAS

For more information on designing withfield programmable gate arrays, field programmable logic and otherreconfigurable devices, go to theProgrammable Logic DesignLine Web Site.

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