editor's blog
Subscribe Now

FPGA Prototype Debug Access

When tracing events on any kind of system, it’s always faster to go local: the farther away the data has to go, the slower it goes. Which is why FPGAs are nice in that their internal memory can be used as a trace buffer, allowing really fast capture.

But that also means that you have to have that memory available. Synopsys has announced a daughter card for their HAPS prototype systems that allows fast capture to an off-chip memory. It uses their custom HAPS-TRAK connector. The clock can run over 200 MHz, but it’s used to sample a system clock of up to 60 MHz. It works in conjunction with their RTL debugger, Identify (of Synplicity pedigree).

Some FPGA resource is still needed – roughly 500 LUTs for the SRAM controller and 2-4 LUTs per watchpoint – but the need for FPGA trace buffer memory is eliminated.

The connector that this debug card plugs into is also used for a variety of other I/O adapter cards – which, at first blush, would seem to be a problem since you can’t stack daughter cards. If there were only one, then you’d have to choose between I/O and debug – not a fun choice. But, in fact, there are 6 or 7 such connectors per FPGA (and multiple FPGAs per board), so any such tradeoff is much less likely.

After the trace capture, the daughter card can be offloaded via JTAG, which does take a couple minutes.

More detail in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 3, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at CNNs for vision as well as other neural networks for other applications.] We'€™re going to take a quick detour into math today. For those of you that have done advanced math, this may be a review, or it might even seem to be talking down...
Jul 2, 2020
Using the bitwise operators in general -- and employing them to perform masking, bit testing, and bit setting/clearing operations in particular -- can be extremely efficacious....
Jul 2, 2020
In June, we continued to upgrade several key pieces of content across the website, including more interactive product explorers on several pages and a homepage refresh. We also made a significant update to our product pages which allows logged-in users to see customer-specifi...

Featured Video

Product Update: DesignWare® TCAM IP -- Synopsys

Sponsored by Synopsys

Join Rahul Thukral in this discussion on TCAMs, including performance and power considerations. Synopsys TCAMs are used in networking and automotive applications as they are low-risk, production-proven, and meet automotive requirements.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries & GPIO

Featured Paper

Cryptography: Fundamentals on the Modern Approach

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

Learn about the fundamental concepts behind modern cryptography, including how symmetric and asymmetric keys work to achieve confidentiality, identification and authentication, integrity, and non-repudiation.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Mindi Analog Simulator

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Microchip

It’s easy to go wrong in the analog portion of your design, particularly if you’re not an analog “expert.” Electrical simulation can help reduce risk and design re-spins. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Rico Brooks of Microchip about the MPLAB Mindi tool, and how it can help reduce your design risk.

Click here for more information about MINDI Analog Simulator.