VHDL soft-core portability to Xilinx, Altera, Atmel....

Allright, My question is not about choosing Xilinx or Altera. From what I have read online, it seems that the choice mostly depends on personal experiences with the respective companies.

My question deals with soft-cores. If I write a soft-core in VHDL, is it possible to implement it on a Xilinx, Altera, Actel or other FPGA brands using their respective synthesizer software? To me VHDL is VHDL, so I do not understand why soft-cores written in VHDL like Picoblaze,Microblaze would be FPGA company specific?

What is the basic architectural differences of FPGAs which would prevent implementaion of soft-core (maybe like Microblaze) on Altera FPGAs? Is comparing Xilinx FPGAs and Altera FPGAs really like comparing apples and oranges? And then what about the newer FPGAs from Atmel(FPSLIC) or Actel etc.

Are there any publication which benchmark the different FPGAs and their technologies?

Is there a way to design soft-cores in VHDL so that they can be implemented on any reconfigurable platforms, like Xilinx FPGA, Atmel FPGA(FPSLIC) or Alterra FPGAs?

At this stage I just experimenting with different soft-cores for my thesis project, and I am just curious about all the excitement caused by the marketing blitz caused by newer FPGA products like FPSLIC, or Actel's FPGA etc. My perspective on this topic is educational and research based, so I would appreciate any help in that context.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

-Yaju N Electrical and Computer Engineering Brigham Young University, Provo UT y a j u a t b y u . edu

Reply to
Yaju Nagaonkar
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A vendor core is a netlist of vendor-specific primitives. It is synthesis output. The VHDL/Verilog source code is the synthesis input. Source code costs extra.

If you write synchronous processes and use the standard block-ram templates your source code is portable. If you instance vendor specific-primitives, your source code will only work with one vendor.

I guess I missed the excitement.

-- Mike Treseler

Reply to
Mike Treseler

newer FPGA as FPSLIC ???? the FPGA in FPSLIC is VERY OLD AT40K nothing new about it. (well the FPSLIC-II is coming, but I guess there is nothing new in it either)


Reply to
Antti Lukats

I guess I have lot to catch up on in the FPGA technolgy area.I just learnt about FPSLIC, as Atmel has been advertising it as a better FPGA choice in recent magazines.

Although I have not used FPSLIC, I am curious whether, it is easy to port VHDL for Xilinx (used at my univ.) to FPSLIC?

Also in term of soft-core processors, are there FPGA-portable open source soft-core processors to download to FPGAs? If there are, wouldnt those be a good choice for benchmark studies with different FPGAs?

Are most of the open-cores (example: opencores.org) designed specifically for fpga brand (xilnx/alterra)?

Thank you for your answers and helping me learn more about FPGA technolgies.


Reply to
Yaju Nagaonkar

"Yaju Nagaonkar" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news: snipped-for-privacy@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

most open cores are not FPGA dependant or can be modified easily to work for different FPGAs. as of Atmel FPSLIC - this is the almost only FPGA where the FPGA vendor does not provide free software. and the software doesnt work also, almost impossible to use.


Reply to
Antti Lukats

Although an open core soft-processor might be written in a vendor independent manner, the underlying differentiator will be the synthesis tools. If you synthesize the same core for different vendors using the same synthesis tool you will get results that differ quite wildly for different FPGAs (from the same or different vendors).

It is inevitable that you will have to hand tweak the source code for the particular FPGA being targeted to achieve maximum results. Alternatively, you can use a synthesis tool that is not only favorable to the chosen vendor of the targeted FPGA, but one that understands the style of VHDL/Verilog code that the core is written in.

Regards Ben

Reply to
Ben Popoola

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