FPGA & VHDL design

Embed often uses FPGAs. These FPGAs have many advantages in the flexible development of embedded software applications, because they offer a lot of flexibility over conventional devices and/or microcontrollers. Applying standard softcore CPUs allows using standard development tools to build efficient designs.

The usage of FPGAs was challenging for Embed. Using FPGAs was a challenge, because it imposes new demands on the design and prototyping proces of embedded electronics. The most important changes are:

  • Multi-layer PCBs are unavoidable;
  • BGA chips must be processed;
  • complex supply circuits have to be set up.

Embed wanted to make the usage of FPGAs simple and quick for future developments. That is why Embed designed a prototyper. With this prototyper Embed can immediately start projects, without encountering new FPGA requirements.

Application of FPGAs in projects
Embed has used FPGAs in various projects:

  • LEDWork- high speed decoding of a DVI video signal.
  • Logger – using a Atmel (AVR8) softcore with modifications and shared memory for multiple CPU’s.
  • Prototyper – implementation of the OpenRISC softcore

Embed has used various types of FPGAs:

  • Spartan3 from Xilinx
  • Virtex 6 from Xilinx
  • Spartan 6 from Xilinx