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ASIC / SoC prototyping based on FPGAs, so-called “FPGA-Based Prototyping” or simply “FPGA Prototyping”, is an important strategic approach for the verification of IPs as well as to accelerate SoC software development, when the final silicon is not yet available.
Source: Exostiv™ Labs
A board with interconnected FPGAs can provide the number of gates required to map a complex ASIC and to start the software development with some ability to troubleshot the hardware. However, most of the time it comes at the expense of the operating frequency, which is reduced to allow partitioning. When validating a prototype at speed of operation in its environment, it often requires another run of choosing or designing FPGA boards with a reduced number of chips, which allows it to reach higher or target speed and the adequate interfaces with the environment.
At all stages of this process, deep trace debug captures are necessary to navigate complex silicon and make the most of the ASIC validation time. Unfortunately, generic tools (like JTAG) usually provide poor visibility, and tools by prototyping platform vendors only work well with their specific platform - they cannot be used at speed with any board.
The solutions by Exostiv™ Labs provide deep capture capability - at speed of operation - from any FPGA board.
The combination of large external memories, together with the use of high-speed FPGA transceivers and very flexibly configurable IPs, makes it possible to record a large number of signals in the FPGA prototype. These can then be made visible by using an external waveform viewer as well as being used in the FPGA or SoC verification process.
Choosing and setting up an ASIC prototype with FPGAs can be quite complex – and raise many questions:
EXOSTIV™ the following ASIC prototyping platforms, amongst others:
A full list of supported platforms can be found here: Link
If you think you cannot find a specific ASIC prototyping platform, please contact us. EXOSTIV™ supports a wide range of other platforms, including most custom solutions.
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