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FPGA development: Electronic Engineering Company

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FPGA or Field Programmable Gate Array

FPGA technology is one of the most complete and flexible architectures for the development of high-performance applications. With this technology it is possible to design tailored system/devices on chip solutions in less time and at a lower cost, using sophisticated simulation systems and programmable integrated circuits.

The development of complete solutions comprises the development of the complete system from the analysis of the requirements, definition of the architecture, design of prototypes, validation of the design and support during the integration. In addition, our services include participation in any of the development phases with FPGAs, from the design of an initial architecture to the development of test-bench, debug, verifications and validations.

Programming an FPGA is typically done using Hardware Description Languages ​​(HDL), although it can also be done using schematics. These languages ​​allow a functional description of the hardware at a higher level of abstraction than the schematics allow, which basically consists of the design of the system based on logic gates and other logic elements.
The most commonly used hardware description languages ​​in FPGA design are VHDL and Verilog. Both are languages ​​that allow the FPGA to be designed from an abstract, functional point of view, although the hardware structure can also be defined at a low level. There are also predefined components, the IPs, described in these languages ​​to simplify the FPGA design.

The main FPGA manufacturers provide tools to make the FPGA design process easier. Thus, Xilinx Inc. offers the Xilinx Vivado macro-tool or ISE Design Suite, which consists of a set of integrated tools for FPGA design and development, among others. These tools include:

    • Vivado Design Suite or ISE: Environments intended for the design of the SoC or HDL systems respectively.
    • EDK: tool for designing microprocessor systems.
    • SDK: tool for designing the software of a system.
    • System Generator: based on Simulink, it is used to design systems from a higher level of abstraction than the previous tools.
    • ISim: is the simulator for debugging the designed system.
    • ChipScope: it is used to monitor the internal signals of an FPGA through the JTAG cable without the need to use an oscilloscope.
    • DSP Builder: Simulink-based tool to facilitate system design.

In the other hand, Altera's (Intel-FPGA) main software for FPGA design is Quartus, a macro tool from which the following tools can be highlighted:

    • Quartus: para realizar sistemas en HDL.
    • SOPC Builder: empleado para diseñar sistemas con microprocesador SoC.
    • Qsys: empleado para conectar a un nivel alto bloques, sistemas, IPs, etc.
    • DSP Builder: herramienta basada en Simulink para facilitar el diseño de sistemas.

And regarding Actel (Microsemi), we have Libero toolchain:

    • Design entry: Multiple approaches using SmartDesign, System Builder, HDL, or Embedded design flows.
    • Simulation: Functional, gate-level, and timing verification using Mentor Graphics ModelSim ME.
    • Synthesis: Design optimization for power and performance using Synopsys Synplify Pro ME and Synphony Model Compiler ME.
    • Place and Route: Advanced, incremental, power-driven, and multi-pass layout options.
    • Power analysis: In-depth visualization of power consumption for each individual design element using SmartPower.
    • Timing analysis: Support for multiple constraint scenarios to optimize timing using SmartTime.
    • Programming: Complete solution with industry’s first Secure Production Programming Solution (SPPS).
    • Debug: Best-in-class debug solution with SmartDebug and Synopsys Identify ME.

The choice of the hardware design language to use, as well as the tools to be used, must be made by the designer at all times depending on the requirements of the system to be implemented.
However, FPGA-based implementations and developments are not an easy task, and you may not always have the experience, resources, or time to fulfill your planning.
Our team of engineers specialized in FPGAs and SoC / MPSoC offers you experience and services to develop your product, with the mission of helping you reduce your development cycles. At GENERA Technologies we have a long history helping our clients to convert the signal acquired by the sensor into processed, reliabilted and real-time information in the shortest latency in a wide range of applications and sectors. Contac us.
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