FPGA Debugging

Software Product Solutions

FPGA Debugging

Debugging FPGAs with traditional instruments (logic analyzer) is a big challenge. This process reduces to random "shooting" over the data and collecting a very small part.

EXOSTIV™ increases the visibility in a FPGA by several orders of magnitude. You get a much better understanding about the quality and reliability of the implemented state machines, controllers and the associated data flow.

The time to debug an FPGA is significantly reduced by EXOSTIV™.


Exostiv Labs Introduction

Source: Exostiv™ Labs

In-lab FPGA debug has hit the wall of complexity

FPGA programmability has traditionally enabled engineers to use board prototypes in the lab for debug and verification. Using a system at speed in a "real" environment is used to overcome modeling errors and excessive simulation times.

However, with the unprecedented complexities reached by FPGAs today, usual instrumentation-based methodologies hardly provide sufficient visibility on system-under-test and create tough board implementation constraints.

EXOSTIV™ multiplies FPGA visibility by 200,000!

EXOSTIV™ is a new kind of embedded instrumentation used in the laboratory at „board bring-up“. It provides up to 200,000 times more visibility on the system under test than traditional instrumentation techniques. Unlike software-based techniques and emulation, EXOSTIV™ is used on the target or prototyping boards running at speed. It provides an extended visibility on internal nodes over large periods of time – and this, with a minimal impact on the FPGA resources.

EXOSTIV™ FPGA Debug Lösung

Source: Exostiv™ Labs

EXOSTIV™ FPGA Debug Solution

Debugging FPGAs at full speed with gigabyte-range visibility

EXOSTIV™ is an innovative debug solution for FPGA boards.

It provides simulator-like visibility - up to 200,000 times more than JTAG-based tools - and fast debug turnaround time for standard and custom FPGA boards.

EXOSTIV™ cuts the debug and analysis time from months to weeks.

  • Lower total engineering costs
  • Faster time-to-market for your FPGA based product or IC
  • Saving the huge cost of bugs escaping to production


Source: Exostiv™ Labs


EXOSTIV™ IP uses the multi-gigabit transceivers (MGTs) to flow captured data out of the FPGA to an external memory. EXOSTIV™ IP supports repeating captures of up to 32,768 internal nodes simultaneously at the FPGAs speed of opperation (16 data sets x 2,048 bits *).

EXOSTIV™ IP provides dynamic multiplexer controls to capture even more data sets without the need to recompile. Dynamic ON/OFF controls of data sets let you select the data set and preserve the MGT`s bandwidth when deeper captures of a reduced set of data is required.

Unlike traditional embedded instruments, the whole debug trace must not to be stored inside the FPGA memory. EXOSTIV’s flexible IP structure lets you reach FPGA nodes during long operating times while preserving the memory resources.

* The actual reach depends on the FPGA resources for debug.


Source: Exostiv™ Labs


EXOSTIV™ Probe provides up to 8 Gigabyte memory to receive and store data from the FPGA. This USB 3.0 Super Speed device establishes the communication channel between the EXOSTIV™ Application and the IP. EXOSTIV™ Probe provides multiple physical connection types with the target board that holds the FPGA under test. From 1 to 4 Gigabit Transceivers (up to 6.6 Gbps each) can be used over SFP/SFP+ or HDMI connectors and cables.

EXOSTIV™ Probe implements a large and high-throughput memory storage located outside the target FPGA. This capability is key to enabling FPGA debugging scenarios that provide up to 200,000 times more observability than approaches that use the FPGA internal memory only.

EXOSTIV™ Dashboard I Application

Source: Exostiv™ Labs

EXOSTIV™ Dashboard I Application

EXOSTIV™ Dashboard is composed of the Core Inserter and the Analyzer.

EXOSTIV™ Core Inserter manages the  configuration IP setup and inserts it at RTL or synthesis level into the design. To do this, it establishes a communication link with the FPGA vendor tool suite.

EXOSTIV™ Analyzer manages data captures from the target design. It provides tools and controls to view, analyze and export the captured data. EXOSTIV™ Analyzer includes MYRIAD, the industry's first waveform viewer capable of handling terabytes of waveform data.

EXOSTIV™ Dashboard provides the essential controls and tools to speed up debugging sessions on FPGA in operation. The included MYRIAD waveform viewer provides the key capability to process and visualize very large waveform databases.

FPGA Boards Support

EXOSTIV ™ supports for amongst others FPGA boards from:

  • Intel
  • High Tech Global
  • PRO design
  • The Dini Group
  • Xilinx

A list of supported FPGA boards can be found here.

Please contact us if you cannot find a specific FPGA board. EXOSTIV ™ supports many other FPGA boards, including most customised solutions.

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