VMETRO and Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc. have teamed together to enable software engineers to easily interface C code to FPGA hardware and firmware components on a widely used VMETRO FPGA PMC module. The integration provides C callable FPGA interfaces to the PMC firmware components, including QDR SRAM, DDR2 SDRAM and the PCI bus. In support of VMETRO’s installed base, the initial Impulse C support for VMETRO PMC boards targets the PMC-FPGA02, a Xilinx® Virtex®-II FPGA PMC. Integration with VMETRO’s Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA-based products will follow.
The integration of Impulse C[tm] with VMETRO PMC modules allows application developers to focus on their algorithms, rather than on the details of hardware and firmware integration. Instead of working at a low level in VHDL, these developers are able to interface hardware algorithms expressed in C directly to firmware components using C-language function calls. The ability to use a high-level front-end FPGA development tool decreases the dependence on FPGA development expertise for algorithm development, allowing FPGA hardware developers to focus on back-end optimizations and custom hardware interfaces.
With a C-language approach, software application developers who may be less familiar with low-level hardware design methods can easily move ANSI C algorithms to an FPGA-accelerated platform. Experienced hardware developers benefit as well, due to a faster path to a working prototype from higher-level C code. The Impulse C tools allow DSP algorithm development in ANSI C and the integration extends this capability to allow C applications to directly interface to VMETRO provided hardware IP blocks.