Xilinx announced the architecture for a new Extensible Processing Platform for embedded systems. The ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor-based platform enables system architects and embedded software developers to apply a combination of serial and parallel processing for embedded systems to perform complex functions. Xilinx’s new architecture abstracts much of the hardware burden away from the embedded software developers’ point of view and gives them more control in the development process.
Xilinx Extensible Processing Platform Highlights
- ARM is the de facto standard for high-speed, low-power microprocessor cores
- A fixed processing system leverages standard design methods to optimize throughput, area, and power
- Xilinx’s 28nm high-performance, low-power programmable logic is fast, efficient, and cost effective
- A processor-centric approach puts software in charge, enabling various low-power states and configuration options
- Integration of the processing system and programmable logic enables very high data rates at very low power, eliminating extra components and chips
- A single platform scales and is used in multiple products, reducing procurement expenses, inventory, and obsolescence
The Xilinx Extensible Processing Platform offers embedded systems designers a processor-centric design and development approach for achieving the compute and processing horsepower required to drive tasks involving high-speed access to real-time inputs, high-performance processing and complex digital signal processing — or any combination thereof — needed to meet application-specific requirements, including lower cost and power.
A software-centric development flow is enabled by a processor-centric approach which presents a full processor system – including caches, memory controllers and commonly used connectivity and I/O peripherals – that boots and can run a variety of operating systems (OS) at power-up, such as Linux, Wind River’s VxWorks and Micrium’s uC-OSII.
The ARM architecture and its Connected Community ecosystem further maximize productivity for developers of embedded systems, while performance is achieved by Xilinx’s architecting the subsystem around ARM’s dual-core Cortex-A9 MPCore processors, each running at up to 800 MHz, combined with the parallel-processing capabilities of Xilinx’s high-performance, low-power 28-nanometer programmable logic. The programmable logic is tightly coupled with the processor system through the high-bandwidth AMBA-AXI interconnects to accelerate key system functions by up to 100x, using off-the-shelf and/or custom IP.
The architectural approach addresses common performance bottlenecks between these parallel and serial computing environments, memory and I/O. It also gives the processor system configuration control of the programmable logic, including dynamic reconfiguration.
Software developers can leverage their existing system code based on ARM technology and utilize vast off-the-shelf open-source and commercially available software component libraries. Because the system boots an OS at reset, software development can get under way quickly within familiar development and debug environments using tools such as ARM’s RealView development suite and related third-party tools, Eclipse-based IDEs, GNU, the Xilinx Software Development Kit and others.
More info: Xilinx