Actel Firmware Catalog for Embedded Software Developers

Actel introduced their new Firmware Catalog. The tool streamlines the locating and generating of firmware that is compatible with Intellectual Property (IP) cores used in Actel embedded processor based low-power IGLOO, ProASIC3, or Fusion mixed-signal FPGA designs. The new Firmware Catalog gives embedded system designers an intuitive and streamlined approach to accessing drivers and other firmware source code. The combination of Actel’s Libero IDE and IP library for FPGA hardware design plus the Firmware Catalog and SoftConsole for software design provide a powerful design tool system for engineers to quickly bring their embedded systems to market.

Actel Firmware Catalog

The Firmware Catalog is a standalone executable program that enables the browsing, selection, and GUI configuration of firmware drivers, hardware abstraction layers and design examples. Through a web connection to a remote repository, the Firmware Catalog dynamically reminds the user of new cores or core versions available for download. It also provides detailed descriptions and direct access to user guides. When used with Actel’s SoftConsole Eclipse-based embedded software development environment, developers are provided a feature rich and comprehensive system for rapid production of C and C++ executables for Actel’s ARM Cortex(TM)-M1 and Core8051s soft processor designs. The Firmware Catalog can also be used with other popular software IDEs currently available.

Software Drivers
Actel has a broad offering of proven and pre-implemented synthesizable IP building blocks that can be easily configured and used within Actel FPGA system-level designs. Software drivers for many Actel IPs are available within the Firmware Catalog. The drivers are free of charge and delivered as C source, so they can be easily compiled and linked into a user’s program or executable. These drivers hide the implementation details of peripheral operations behind a driver application program interface (API), so the developer need only be concerned with the peripheral’s function.

Hardware Abstraction Layers
A hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that supports ARM Cortex-M1, Core8051s, and CoreMP7 processors is also available. HALs enable the software driver to be used without modification, isolating the driver’s implementation from the hardware platform variations. A driver implementation interacts with the hardware peripheral it is controlling. This enables programmers to seamlessly reuse code, even when the hardware platform changes. Software drivers and HALs are available within the Firmware Catalog.

More information: Actel Firmware Catalog Software