Implementing RTOS (xilkernel) on Xilinx Spartan 3E Starter board

I have just published an tutorial on howto implement the xilkernel (sometimes called XMK) v4.0 on the Xilinx Spartan 3E Starter board. This xilkernel is a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)



have fun...


you can also find an Round Robin Application in the rar files that is included with the tutorial...



13:53 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: rtos, microblaze, fpga, softcore, xilinx, 32-bit, spartan 3e, spartantan |  Facebook |


Open Source Soft Microprocessors

I found a nice article on Opensource Soft Microprocessors.


here is the link:




16:26 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: opensource, softcore, microprocessor, fpga |  Facebook |


Design example for ACTEL fpga's with ARM Cortex-M1

Link: http://www.electronicstalk.com/news/ank/ank280.html


Synplicity and ARM have signed a joint marketing and collaboration agreement that includes a reference methodology for the recently launched ARM Cortex-M1 processor - the first ARM processor specifically designed for implementation on FPGAs.

09:13 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, arm, fpga, reference design, cortex-m1, softcore, processor, synplicity |  Facebook |



Actel and ARM Develop High-Performance 32-Bit Processor Optimized for FPGAs

Actel Offers New Cortex-M1 for Use in Flash-based M1 ProASIC3 and M1 Fusion Devices

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 19, 2007 — Disclosing further details of its industry-standard processor portfolio, Actel Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTL) today announced the availability of its implementation of the ARM® Cortex™-M1 processor, a small, high-performance, 32-bit soft core co-developed by the companies for optimal use in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Removing the license and royalty fees typically associated with licensing models for industry-leading processor cores, Actel offers free access to advanced ARM processor technology to the broad marketplace. The free delivery of the Cortex-M1 processor for use in Actel's flash-based, M1-enabled Actel Fusion and ProASIC3 FPGAs provides system designers programmable flexibility and system-level integration, enabling the development of low-cost, high-performance systems.

"With the significant increase in the use of FPGAs as flexible, cost-effective platforms for the rapid design of high-quality embedded systems, the introduction of an FPGA-optimized ARM processor enables us to serve the growing needs of companies who require highly programmable solutions," said John Cornish, vice president, marketing, Processors Division, ARM. "The unprecedented security benefits and advanced features offered by Actel's flash-based FPGAs make these devices an ideal vehicle for our high-performance processor technology."

Rich Brossart, vice president, product marketing at Actel, added, "Evidenced by the success of our soft ARM7™ family processor core, designers continue to show great interest in implementing industry-standard 32-bit processor technologies in FPGAs. With the addition of the FPGA-optimized ARM Cortex-M1 processor, free of license and royalty fees, to our broad processor portfolio, system designers can select the solution that best meets their design requirements regardless of application or volume."

Cortex-M1 Processor and Actel's M1-Enabled FPGAs

Derived from ARM's three-stage Cortex-M3 processor pipeline, the highly configurable Cortex-M1 processor operates at up to 72 MHz in Actel's M1-enabled Fusion Programmable System Chip (PSC) or ProASIC3 FPGAs. Providing a good balance between size and speed for embedded applications, the core is able to be implemented in as few as 4300 tiles, roughly 20 percent of an M1A3P1000 ProASIC3 device or 30 percent of a mixed-signal M1AFS600 Actel Fusion PSC. The Cortex-M1 processor solution also connects to the industry-standard AHB bus, allowing designers to build a subsystem and easily add peripheral functionality to the processor.

With the increasing costs of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design, designers can benefit from a Cortex-M1 processor-based implementation in an FPGA due to reduced design time and a lower cost of entry into system-on-chip design, particularly for lower volume applications. However, for designs that scale to ultra-high volumes, the 32-bit Cortex-M1 processor runs the industry-standard Thumb® instruction set and is upward compatible with the Cortex-M3 processor, providing an easy migration path to ASIC implementation.

Actel's flash-based FPGAs, the mixed-signal M1 Actel Fusion PSCs and low-cost M1 ProASIC3 devices, are virtually immune to tampering, assuring users that valuable IP will not be compromised or copied. The single-chip devices also provide the low power, firm-error immunity and live at power-up capabilities that are inherent to all Actel FPGAs.

Comprehensive Tool Support

The Cortex-M1 processor is supported by the comprehensive tools and knowledge that currently exists for the ARM architecture, far surpassing the level of support offered for proprietary processors. Actel will support the Cortex-M1 processor with its CoreConsole IP Deployment Platform, its SoftConsole program development environment, and Actel Libero Integrated Design Environment—all available for free download from Actel's Web site. Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor is fully supported by the ARM RealView® Development Suite and RealView Microcontroller Development Kit. Third-party vendors, such as Aldec, CriticalBlue, CodeSourcery, IAR, ImpulseC and Keil™, an ARM Company, will also support the new processor with a host of tools—from compilers and debuggers to RTOS support.

Pricing and Availability

Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor will be available for early access in April. The M1A3P1000 ProASIC3 device and M1AFS600 Fusion PSC device will sample in Q3 2007 with production quantities in Q4 2007. Pricing for the M1 devices starts at $3.95. For further information about pricing and availability, please contact Actel or visit the company's Web site at www.actel.com .

About Actel
Actel Corporation is the leader in single-chip FPGA solutions. The company is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol ACTL and is headquartered at 2061 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, Calif., 94043-4655. For more information about Actel, visit www.actel.com. Telephone: 888-99-ACTEL (992-2835).

21:50 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: fpga, arm, 32-bit, softcore, core, ip, processor, actel, cortex-m1 |  Facebook |


Arasan Chip Systems Extends USB IP Offerings to Actel’s CompanionCore Program

Source: http://www.fpgajournal.com/news_2007/03/20070306_02.htm


SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arasan Chip Systems, Inc. (“Arasan”), a leading supplier of reusable intellectual property (IP) cores, semiconductors and design services, today announced that it has joined Actel Corporation’s CompanionCore Alliance Program. Arasan has optimized its USB 2.0 Host, USB 2.0 Hub, USB 2.0 Device and USB OTG IP cores for use with Actel’s flash-based, single-chip Actel Fusion, IGLOO, ProASIC3/E and ProASIC Plus field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). With these USB IP offerings, system designers have access to proven building blocks to streamline design and development, shorten time to market and reduce design costs and risks.

Actel CompanionCore products offer seamless implementation through Actel's suite of internal and third-party EDA development tools, documentation, and quality service and support, thereby streamlining the design process. Specific FPGA target data is available for each IP core on the CompanionCore Web site at http://www.actel.com/products/partners/companioncore/.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Actel in its CompanionCore program,” said Kevin Walsh, vice president of marketing at Arasan Chip Systems. “Our customers can confidently use these USB cores, and others that we intend to put into the program, knowing we have done all the work to optimize them for use in Actel’s FPGAs.”

Rich Brossart, Actel vice president, product marketing said, "Arasan’s USB IP solutions complement Actel's flash-based devices, including the company’s innovative Actel Fusion, IGLOO, and ProASIC3/E FPGAs. For customers requiring USB connectivity, the addition of Arasan’s USB 2.0 Host, 2.0 Hub, 2.0 Device and OTG cores to the Actel CompanionCore program will enhance designer productivity and versatility while reducing time to market."

Total Technology Solution

Arasan provides a total technology solution to all its licensees, including IP source code, a test environment, sample device drivers, synthesis scripts, and complete technical documentation. The total technology solution also includes optional product design development tools like the hardware validation platform and software targeted for Linux. Custom bus integration services are offered to integrate the IP in a customer specific manner. Available for purchase, Arasan’s validation platform is a stand-alone board used to ease compliance testing of as well as prototyping, including driver development.

Pricing and Availability

Licenses for the USB 2.0 Host, USB 2.0 Hub, USB 2.0 Device and USB OTG IP cores are available from Arasan in either synthesizable RTL or Actel-targeted netlist formats. The USB cores are available under special license terms. For more information on these IP cores, please visit Arasan at http://www.arasan.com or Actel at http://www.actel.com/products/ip/.

About Arasan

Arasan Chip Systems Inc. founded in 1995, is a leading supplier of Reusable Intellectual Property (IP’s) cores, semiconductors and electronic design services. Arasan’s product portfolio is focused on Bus Interfaces and includes IP’s for USB 1.1 & 2.0, PCI, SDIO and CE-ATA technologies. Arasan’s products and services enable businesses to develop and leverage product design and development. Arasan Chip Systems has been an executive member of SD Card Association since 2001, MMCA since 2003 and CE-ATA since 2004. Arasan is headquartered in San Jose, California, with design centers in India and support options available in Taiwan, China & Europe. Licensees of Arasan’s USB IP include companies like TI, Cisco, NEC, Staccato, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and General Atomics.

Visit: www.arasan.com for more product information.


Blinking Led on ProASIC3 by use of CoreABC microcontroller

The next few lines are an introduction (if you like: a step-by-step guide, a tutorial) on how to use the CoreABC processor core on a ProASIC3 (A3PE-A3P-EVAL-BRD1) board. It shows you how to set up the core, how to copy/paste a working example program and how to use this program.


Enjoy it!


The first thing you have to do is start up the CoreConsole tool from ACTEL. You have to create a new project for this tutorial. In this project place 1 CoreABC block on the 'workspace'. After you have done this you have to make some settings: like there are: Connecting PCLK, NSYSRESET and IO to the Top level of your design. Another thing you have to do is configuring the softcore for using it with ProASIC3 FPGA's. (see also screenshots below).





On the second screenshot be sure you click the 'Program' Tab and put the following code in it:


JUMP $Main







$LedOff    IOWRT 0

    CALL $Wait500ms

$LedOn    IOWRT 1

    CALL $Wait500ms

    JUMP $LedOff



    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait100ms


    CALL $Wait20ms


    CALL $Wait40ms


    CALL $Wait20ms


    CALL $Wait10ms



    LOADLOOP 34998



    JUMP IFNOT LOOPZ $Wait10msInner





After this you just have to set up a new project in Libero IDE and import the core in this project (see screenshot).


Normally there are no green icons on your programming way yet (I took this screenshot after I had fully programmed my fpga).


Hit the Synthesis tool (Synplicity Actel Edition) and push the Run button in this program.


After this step you have to use the Place&Route tool. Be sure to make the following settings:


Remember that pin 26 is the clock on this Actel ProASIC3 board.

After you have created the stpl file from the Place&Route tool you can Program the FPGA by use of the FlashPro Tool




When you want to test the program you just have created just press the SW1 button on your board.


Enjoy this tutorial on implementing the CoreABC softcore on a ProASIC3 FPGA.


(The problem I had the first time I tried this was that I didn't connect the NSYSRESET pin to the top level).


I used an ProASIC3 A3P250 PQ208ES 0539 FPGA.



For Screenshots please see the following WORD document: Screenshots


22:08 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: softcore, fpga, coreabc, actel, tutorial, proasic3 |  Facebook |


Writing your own OS

This links shows how to write your own OS.


In a technical point of view this is very nice when you use it combined with an core you have on your FPGA.


FPGA --> hard or softcore processor --> OS (you best choose for an Real-time OS)


When I have some spare time I will start immediately a project like this.



Ooh yes, here is the link: http://www.joelgompert.com/OS/introduction.htm

11:03 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: os, fpga, core, softcore, hardcore, real-time |  Facebook |