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What is Design Security in a Mainstream SoC?

Do you worry about security in your FPGA design? Are there bad guys out there trying to take advantage of security holes in your electronic designs? What can we do to stop them? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia chats with Tim Morin (Microsemi) about the practical aspects of security in mainstream SoC FPGAs - what threats are out there and what we can all do to help keep the bad guys at bay.

Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution

Achieving timing closure for signoff can be a daunting challenge in today's complex designs. Meeting timing under all conditions - with the certainty required for signoff - is a complex and demanding task. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton talks to Ruben Molina of Cadence Design Systems about the special challenges of signoff timing closure, and Cadence's new Tempus timing analysis tool.

FPGA Product Support and EOL as Past Performance Indicators

This white paper presents the factors that lead to product obsolescence decisions made by FPGA vendors and how you can use this knowledge to craft obsolescence risk mitigation plans. This paper also introduces the idea of exercising Past Performance Assessments of FPGA vendors as both a risk and cost factor in making FPGA selection in military system design.

How To Save 75% on Your Next ASIC Design

Do you think developing a custom mixed-signal chip for your application is beyond your team's reach? Too expensive, complicated, and risky? Think again! In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Reid Wender of Triad Semiconductor about how you can dramatically reduce design costs and complexity - bringing that custom chip design within reach. In part one of our three-part Chalk TalkHD series, Amelia and Reid tell you how to save 75% on your design.

DO-254 Requirements Traceability with Spec-TRACER

In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Louie de Luna about Aldec's new Spec-TRACER tool and how Spec-TRACER helps you navigate your way through your design flow - from beginning to end, from requirements to verification.

Routing Interfaces Quickly & Efficiently on PCBs

In today's PCB designs, interfaces such as DDR pose major challenges for layout. Issues like timing and signal integrity can be tricky for even the most experienced designer. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Hemant Shah of Cadence Design Systems about routing those tricky bits using a combination of automatic and manual routing techniques.

Rigid-Flex and Embedded Components

These days, flexibile circuit boards are making their way into the mainstream. Rigid-flex design gives us all kinds of new capabilities in form factor, as well as the opportunity to replace expensive and unreliable cables and connectors. But, how do you handle rigid-flex PCB design in your layout tools? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Altium's Ben Jordan about rigid-flex design in Altium Designer - and how you can use those same capabilities for embedded components as a bonus!

World's Smallest FPGAs Solve 4 Big Problems

In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia chats with Gordon Hands (Lattice Semiconductor) about some awesomely tiny FPGAs that bring the power of programmable logic into devices like cell phones, tablets, and other power and form factor sensitive applications.

OTN Transport of Baseband Radio Serial Protocols in C-RAN Architecture for Mobile Network Applications

This joint white paper by MTI Mobile and Altera presents a proof of concept implementation of digital baseband radio data transport over Optical Transport Network (OTN) compliant to 3GPP Long Term Evolution – Advanced (LTE-A) standard, which enables us to exploit the benefits of Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that data transport between the MTI Radiocomp’s baseband module and a remote radio module over an OTN-compliant mapper from Altera is compliant to Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and to the OBSAI interface protocols.

Enabling the Internet of Things: Introducing Atmel SAM D20 Cortex M0+ Family

Your design needs to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), doesn't it? Connecting your device to the rapidly expanding IoT opens up a wide world of potential new capabilities. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Andreas Eieland (Atmel) about some amazing new devices that can dramatically simplify the task of getting your next design into the IoT party.

Enabling New Applications with NFC Connectivity and Energy Harvesting

In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Greg Proehl (STMicroelectronics) about the basics of NFC technology, and they explore some interesting NFC applications as well as cool and innovative new NFC solutions from ST - including one with energy harvesting capability.

The Exploding Variety of New Interfaces for Mobile SoCs

In this week's Whiteboard Wednesdays, Tom Hackett focuses on the wide variety of new and updated mobile interfaces for mobile SoCs. These interfaces are broken down into three catagories—SoC fabric, memory, and chip-to-chip—and include ARM AMBA 4, ARM AMBA 5, OCP, DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR3, LPDDR4, Wide I/O, Wide I/O2, DRAM, eMMC, eMMC5, UFS, CSI-3, SoundWire, USB, PCIe, and SSIC.

Beyond Physical: Solving High-end FPGA Design Challenges

The advantages of using programmable logic to get electronic products to market quickly with less risk and cost are well known and recent market drivers have shifted even further in their favor; new economic realities coupled with changing consumer behavior, shorter product life cycles, richer feature sets, and faster upgrades, to name a few. In step with these demands, high-end FPGAs are now architected using geometries down to 40nm and with capacities of up to five million equivalent ASIC gates. They include performance optimized I/O’s and dedicated DSP architectures that together enable extremely powerful and cost-effective solutions. For these reasons, FPGAs are also widely used to realistically prototype and validate ASIC designs at orders of magnitude higher speeds than are possible with traditional acceleration or emulation based solutions.

Battery Management Solutions

Designing battery-powered systems can be challenging. In addition to power and form-factor considerations, today's batteries require sophisticated charging and monitoring for maximum safety, life, and performance. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Richard DelRossi of Texas Instruments about battery management solutions that can dramatically simplify your next battery-powered design while adding important monitoring capabilities to your device.

New Approaches to Hardware Acceleration Using Ultra Low Density FPGAs

Ask system designers to list the problems they face – it doesn’t matter whether they’re building mobile consumer, automotive, industrial, medical or scientific applications – and inevitably they’ll mention optimizing host processor performance. It’s hardly surprising. The event-driven architecture of these MPUs allows them to multitask and address new priorities as they occur. But as the number of I/O continues to rise, it also places escalating demand on bandwidth. Tasked with managing a wider array of I/O as well as other system-wide command and control functions, today’s host MPUs must remain operational for longer periods of time, thereby consuming precious power and compute resources.

Vivado IP Integrator

Even the best "plug and play" IP blocks are far from fool-proof. One of the most challenging aspects of IP-based design can be getting the blocks stitched together properly, making sure you have the right version of all the IP blocks, and confirming the configuration of your whole design. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Tim Vanevenhoven about the powerful correct-by-construction automation built into the IP Integrator in Vivado Design Suite from Xilinx. IP Integrator seriously raises the bar on automation of IP-based design.

It’s Easy to Protect Your Embedded System from Theft

If you have invested years and millions of dollars in the design of an embedded system (and in the creation of the Intellectual Property, or IP, that goes along with the design) it can be of critical importance to protect that system from unauthorized duplication or theft. After all, it’s much easier to steal something as complex as a multi-million gate FPGA design than to create, debug, and test it. The protection of an embedded system that uses FPGAs, is particularly relevant since FPGAs have become the platforms of choice for innovation.

Understand USB Controllers and Their Performance Specs

In this week's Whiteboard Wednesdays video, Jacek Duda provides an informative overview of USB controllers and the potential performance that can be achieved. He also discusses specs for USB 2.0 and USB 3.X in detail.

How to Design a Sigma Delta Mixer Circuit

In parts 1 & 2 of this 3-part Chalk Talk series, we talked about how Triad Semiconductor can save you 75%, or even as much as 99% in your next mixed-signal ASIC design. But, what good is savings if you don't know what you can design with it? In this third episode of our 3-part Chalk Talk series, Amelia and Reid Wender of Triad Semiconductor have fun taking ViaDesigner out for a spin - designing a sigma delta mixer.

Accelerating System Bandwidth with FPGAs and Hybrid Memory Cube

Move over DDR, the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) is here! But, from a design perspective, care and feeding of the amazing HMC can be a lot more demanding than DDR. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Manish Deo of Altera explain how powerful FPGAs can help you tame the HMC in your next design.

Vivado Design Suite: Integrated Design Environment

Software engineers have long depended on integrated design environments (IDEs) to help manage complex design processes. Now, hardware engineers can take advantage of the same complexity-taming level of integration. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton explores the IDE in Vivado Design Suite with Brian Lay of Xilinx.

chalk talks

Timing Closure Made Easier with Stylus

In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats Andy Caldwell (Tabula) about putting an end to the oppressive reign of timing closure terror. Tabula’s Spacetime architecture - it turns out - besides giving us crazy performance for our high-bandwidth designs - also makes timing closure drop-dead easy.

Why Do I Need a Customizable ARM-based SoC?

In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Todd Koelling of Altera about what’s inside these new SoC FPGAs and how you can get started designing with them.

Rigid-Flex and Embedded Components

These days, flexibile circuit boards are making their way into the mainstream. Rigid-flex design gives us all kinds of new capabilities in form factor, as well as the opportunity to replace expensive and unreliable cables and connectors. But, how do you handle rigid-flex PCB design in your layout tools? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Altium's Ben Jordan about rigid-flex design in Altium Designer - and how you can use those same capabilities for embedded components as a bonus!

Integrated Design Environment for FPGA

Do you find that FPGA design flows can get a bit confusing and difficult to manage? What we really need is an integrated design environment that will help us keep our design activities organized. In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Satyam Jani from Aldec about integrated design environments (IDEs) for FPGA design, why FPGA designers need a vendor-independent IDE, and how an FPGA-centric IDE can help us get through our design flow quite a bit more easily.

Developing Clean Efficient Power with LLC Resonant Converters with Infineon

Ready to get your black belt in DC power conversion? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Sam Abdel-Rahman of Infineon about how to make a versatile, high-efficiency, LLC resonant mode power converter. So, buckle up, hit play, and get your DC on!

Digital Predistortion for Base Station Power Amplifiers

In this episode of our new Chalk TalkHD series, Amelia Dalton talks to Todd Nelson from Linear Technology about how digital predistortion (DPD) can be used to save millions of dollars worth of power in base station designs. DPD is simple to apply, and has a dramatic impact on the power amplifier - the most power-hungry part of modern base stations. In this Chalk TalkHD you'll hear how DPD works and how you can apply it to your next design.

Effective Version Control for Electronic Design

When it comes to our hardware engineering projects, we need to keep our design data well organized. In the software world, this is accomplished with the help of version control systems. Unfortunately, most of us don’t learn version control for hardware design. In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Ben Jordan of Altium about how effective version control can help every step of the design process, enable team design, manage versions and configurations, and keep our project from spiraling out of control.

High Speed Data Acquisition and Software Defined Radio Made Simple

Building a hybrid computing platform from scratch is a huge and complicated project. Luckily, somebody has already done that work for you. In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Justin Braun (4DSP) about how you can use pre-designed platforms to dramatically simplify these complex computing and data acquisition problems.

latest papers and content

Understand USB Controllers and Their Performance Specs

In this week's Whiteboard Wednesdays video, Jacek Duda provides an informative overview of USB controllers and the potential performance that can be achieved. He also discusses specs for USB 2.0 and USB 3.X in detail.

Comparing 3D Memory Solutions and Their Market Applications

In this week's Whiteboard Wednesdays video, Scott Jacobson completes his three-part series on the Memory Wall with a discussion on the different 3D memory solutions available today and their market applications. You may recall that in the first segment, Scott examined how CPU performance outstrips memory transfers, and discussed options available to system designers, such as 2D solutions. In the second part of this series, Scott took a closer look at 2D memory solutions like EMMC 5.0, UFS, and DDR4.

How IP Enhances Hosted Virtual Desktops

In this week’s Whiteboard Wednesdays, Charles Qi introduces an emerging new application called Hosted Virtual Desktop, which supports increasingly mobile workers who want to use any smart, connected device to access corporate data resources. Charles goes into detail about how Cadence IP can help expand the application to help businesses make mobile workforces more efficient.

Artix-7 FPGA Transceiver: The Industry's Most Capable Transceiver in a Low-End Device

In this video you’ll see the FPGA industry’s only low end transceiver solution—the Artix-7 FPGA transceiver—that provides auto-adaptive equalization, 2D Eye Scan, and IBIS-AMI simulation models to simplify high speed serial design for cost-sensitive applications.

Xilinx Broadest Cost Effective All Programmable Low-end Portfolio

This generation of all programmable, cost-sensitive applications has reached new levels of sophistication and diversity of requirements. Low cost systems in the consumer, automotive, industrial, medical, and communications space may need a programmable logic device with high serial bandwidth, or for advanced processing, or may simply need bridging functionality and little else. Commonly termed the “low-end” market due to the devices’ relatively low cost and density, these platforms provide varying levels of system integration, performance, and power. They may perform critical tasks such as video analytics or packet processing, or simply expand a system’s I/O connectivity to peripheral devices.

New Approaches to Hardware Acceleration Using Ultra Low Density FPGAs

Ask system designers to list the problems they face – it doesn’t matter whether they’re building mobile consumer, automotive, industrial, medical or scientific applications – and inevitably they’ll mention optimizing host processor performance. It’s hardly surprising. The event-driven architecture of these MPUs allows them to multitask and address new priorities as they occur. But as the number of I/O continues to rise, it also places escalating demand on bandwidth. Tasked with managing a wider array of I/O as well as other system-wide command and control functions, today’s host MPUs must remain operational for longer periods of time, thereby consuming precious power and compute resources.

Using Low Cost, non-volatile PLDs in System Applications

The system market is comprised of applications in telecom infrastructure, computing, high end industrial and high end medical. Power supply sequencing, voltage and current monitoring, bus bridging, voltage level translation, interface control, and temperature measurement are typical board functions found in these applications. System designers are faced with continual pressure to meet their development schedules, and need to implement designs with minimal effort and risk while maintaining maximum flexibility. By using a programmable-based approach instead of several discrete devices or Application Specific Standard Products (ASSPs), designers can accelerate their time-to- market, address system cost and space reduction, and ensure a high level of product differentiation.

Scripted Flows in Vivado Design Suite

When you're using a new tool for the first time, a good GUI is great to have, but once you're up and running and automating a complex design process, scripted flows offer a much more powerful means of controlling your tools. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Ron Plyler of Xilinx explore scripted flows in the Vivado design suite.

Intelligently Expanding Microprocessor Connectivity Using Low-cost FPGAs

Whether they be CPUs, microprocessors or microcontrollers, microprocessors are an indispensable component in modern electronic system design. However, as systems become more complex and host a wider array of features and user interfaces, system architects using mid-range microprocessors in particular typically face three key challenges connecting the microprocessor, or microprocessors, they are using to the rest of their system: implementing more than 150 general purpose I/Os (GPIO), finding cost effective solutions in the 100 to 150 GPIO range, and matching available I/O peripherals with system needs. These challenges can easily be overcome with the use of FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), which over the past 10 years have seen a significant reduction in cost and power consumption, making them ideal for a wide range of high- volume, low-cost applications including mobile.

Security Aspects of Lattice Semiconductor iCE40 Mobile FPGA Devices

Product piracy is of strong concern to major companies around the world. R&D costs are very high for leading companies. Therefore, companies plan to recoup these R&D costs by sale of their proprietary products. If pirates are able to steal or copy the final design, or countermand the security systems of these proprietary products, the market will become flooded with low cost alternatives. As a final consequence, major companies will find themselves unable to recover their high development costs, and will lose valuable profits.

Vivado IP Integrator - Tech Packet

Even the best "plug and play" IP blocks are far from fool-proof. One of the most challenging aspects of IP-based design can be getting the blocks stitched together properly, making sure you have the right version of all the IP blocks, and confirming the configuration of your whole design.

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Using FPGAs for Trapezoidal Motor Control

Whether the need is for quieter blower fans in air conditioning systems, or greater efficiency under dynamically changing load conditions for an electric car drive-train, performance and cost goals for permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM or BLDC) controllers become more challenging by the day.

Extending Transceiver Leadership at 28nm

As next-generation applications and systems continue driving up I/O bandwidth demands, transceivers are evolving to meet these requirements. The latest-generation transceivers deliver the highest data rates, at up to 28 Gbps, at the lowest power for applications such as 100 Gigabit Ethernet systems. In this 40-minute webcast, you'll get a close look at key transceiver capabilities in our 28-nm Stratix® V FPGAs.

Leveraging OCP for Cache Coherent Traffic Within an Embedded Multi-core Cluster

Scaling processing performance beyond the frequency and power envelope of single core systems has led to the emergence of multi-core clusters. Data access management within such processing systems becomes essential to ensure behavioral consistency. One solution to provide access consistency is the application of a memory coherence model such as MESI or MOESI within the L1 data cache hierarchy. For the MIPS Technologies MIPS32® 1004K™ Coherent Processing System (CPS), we applied Open Core Protocol (OCP) point-to-point connectivity to establish snoop-based coherence throughout the cluster. Following are principles of this communication model.

It's an Analog World After All

It's an analog world out there. And, while most microcontrollers offer terrific features in the digital and software domain, Microchip has a new family of MCUs with Intelligent Analog capabilities that can make a huge difference in connecting your design to the real world. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton talks to Alexis Alcott of Microchip about harnessing the power of Intelligent Analog in MCU design.

Interface Additions to the e Language for Effective Communication with SystemC TLM 2.0 Models

Transaction-level models (TLMs) have a number of advantages—they are available earlier, they allow users to divide their focus on verifying functionality and protocol/timing details, they enable higher level reuse, and they can be used as reference models in advanced verification environments. New additions to e in the Cadence® Specman technology portfolio enable verification engineers to communicate efficiently with SystemC models that have TLM 2.0 interfaces.

How To Begin A Simple FPGA Design

This training is for engineers who have never designed an FPGA before. You will learn about the basic benefits of FPGAs and how to create a simple FPGA design using Quartus II software. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to start a new FPGA design, create a schematic using the graphic editor, convert schematic and HDL files into schematic symbols, and configure an FPGA.

Radar Processing: FPGAs or GPUs?

While general-purpose graphics processing units (GP-GPUs) offer high rates of peak floating-point operations per second (FLOPs), FPGAs now offer competing levels of floating-point processing. Moreover, Altera® FPGAs now support OpenCL™, a leading programming language used with GPUs.

Inside the Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC ZC706 Evaluation Kit

Watch as we take a look inside the Zynq®-7000 AP SoC ZC706 Evaluation Kit, a transceiver based kit all the necessary hardware, tools and IP to quickly work through your evaluation and development of a transceiver based embedded system. The board gives you access to 16 GTX transceivers running at 6.6 Gb/x on the FMC connector, and the PCIe gen2x4 edge connector fingers.

A Generation Ahead for Smarter Systems: 9 Reasons why the Xilinx Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC Platform is the Smartest Solution

The Xilinx Zynq™-7000 All Programmable SoC is the ideal platform to infuse intelligence into today’s embedded systems. It is All Programmable, meaning that not only can one add systems intelligence through software, but additional data processing and decisions can be executed in real time with programmable hardware and system interfaces can be optimized and evolved through programmable I/O.

Introduction to SmartFusion Intelligent Mixed Signal FPGAs

This short video gives an overview of the SmartFusion™ intelligent mixed signal FPGAs introduced, including the microcontroller subsystem (MSS), analog compute engine (ACE) and FPGA.

LatticeECP3 FPGA Jamz Music Video

If you enjoyed the original Lattice MachXO2 "pitchman" video in 2010, or the follow-up Power Manager II "pickle" video, check out the latest music video from Lattice featuring the LatticeECP3 FPGA. It's not surprising that when you mix a great product like the LatticeECP3 with a light-hearted video, the response is going to be win-win for an engineering audience.

Implementing a Secure Boot with a Microsemi IGLOO2 FPGA

IGLOO®2 devices have a range of differentiated security features, including a secure boot feature, which verifies that the boot code used to ‘bring-up’ an embedded system is authorized to run on the target processor. Without this check of the MCU, a malicious intruder can compromise the entire system. This paper outlines the dangers of poor system security and illustrates how implementing a secure boot can dramatically increase the security of embedded systems. It also shows how secure boot may be included for free, since IGLOO2 FPGAs are used to implement many common embedded functions other than security.

Optimizing Performance, Power, and Area in SoC Designs Using MIPS® Multi-threaded Processors

Hardware-based multi-threading technology has for some time been known in the industry as a feasible technique for improving system performance, but not too many people are aware of just how much traction the technology has gained since its early implementations in the 1960s. This article provides a brief history of hardware based multi-threading and some examples of its commercial adoption so far. It then gives an overview of the fundamental value of multi-threading in hardware, and describes MIPS Technologies’ multi-threading architecture and product offerings. The article also provides several multi-threaded application examples—including those in the areas of driver assistance systems and home gateways—to demonstrate the broad applicability of multi-threading in real-world applications.

Vivado Implementation Directives and Strategies

Learn how to access new place and route algorithms that you can try when the defaults do not meet your design goals. This covers the new command directives and the new pre-packaged strategies that are built on these directives.

First Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA Demonstration

Watch demonstration of the second device in the Xilinx 28nm FPGA family -- the high performance Virtex-7 XV485T.

STMicroelectronics Automates Full Custom Analog Layout Flow Using Constraints

At advanced process nodes, new challenges such as layout-dependent effects emerge. STMicroelectronics needed to address these challenges and automate its full custom analog layout flow. Watch this video to hear Preeti Kapoor, a design engineer at the company, talks about using Design Constraints (specifically modgens) to create a faster and more accurate DRC clean design.

Maximize Design Productivity With PCIe/104 FPGA/Processor

In this episode of Chalk TalkHD Amelia chats with Christine Van De Graaf of Kontron, who explain how Kontron is incorporating pre-made, small form factor boards, a high-performance embedded processor programmable logic into their new MSMST board and how we can get started designing with one.

Enabling Ethernet-Over-NG-SONET/SDH Solutions for MSPP Linecards

The combination of Altera’s Arria II GX family and TPACK’s 2.5-Gbps/10-Gbps Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH and 10-Gbps/20-Gbps switch/NPU solutions meet the requirements of next-generation MSPP linecards and maintain existing infrastructure. Like ASSPs, FPGAs are based on the traditional manufacturing process, either in-house or via commercial foundries, but due to their broader and more generic application, the production volume that FPGAs attain justifies investment in the latest manufacturing processes and technology.


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