White Paper: Using Multi-Gigabit Transceivers to Test and Debug FPGA

Byte Paradigm recently published a white paper about testing and debugging a FPGA with multi-gigabit transceiver. The technical paper features Byte Paradigm’s new Thunder Series probe. The PC-based instrument uses FPGA multi-gigabit transceivers as high-speed interface for collecting trace data and inserting test pattern stimulus during FPGA testing and debugging. The article discusses the advantages of using high bandwidth links in combination with adequate embedded instrumentation IP implemented in FPGA.

Byte Paradigm Thunder Series probe locates the trace/stimulus memory outside the FPGA while using available multi-gigabit transceivers for conveying data to and from the FPGA

White Paper Conclusions

Byte Paradigm’s new Thunder Series probe complements the existing solutions for FPGA debugging. By placing a large memory buffer outside the FPGA and using multi-gigabit transceivers to transport trace data, Thunder Series instrument extends the notion of embedded instrumentation. It overcomes memory limitations of embedded instrumentation while having no impact on the usual I/O resources. This is made possible by using multi-gigabit transceivers left unused by the FPGA design.

Moreover, Thunder Series probe offers testing capabilities that are currently unexplored by existing instrumentation solutions. With the adequate set of instrumentation IP, Thunder Series probe uses full-duplex multi-gigabit transceivers and allows ‘injecting’ the input stimulus inside the FPGA. In a world of FPGA being used as a platform for full complex systems, this enables testing subsystem and blocks of IPs from PC.

More info: Using Multi-Gigabit Transceivers to Test and Debug FPGA White Paper (pdf)