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Mentor Blogs

Posts tagged with 'FPGA'

7 May, 2014

Joe Rodriguez My Feb. 4 post introduced Mentor Graphics’ three-step FPGA verification process intended to help design teams get out of the reprogrammable lab more effectively. Since then, I’ve engaged FPGA vendors, design managers and engineers to explain the process, paying special attention to the merits and technical detail for injecting automation into any FPGA verification environment, the hallmark of Mentor’s … Read More

Verilog, Verification, VHDL, Code Coverage, Coverage, Assertions, FPGA, Functional Verification

4 Feb, 2014

Joe Rodriguez Marketing teams at FPGA vendors have been busy as the silicon nanometer geometry race escalates. Altera is “delivering the unimaginable” while Xilinx is offering “all programmable SoCs” to design centers. It’s clear that the SoC has become more accessible to a broader market today and that FPGA vendors have staked out a solid technology roadmap for the near future. Do marketing … Read More

Verilog, Verification, VHDL, Code Coverage, Coverage, Assertions, FPGA, Functional Verification

15 Apr, 2013
Embedded Software

What is an FPGA?

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls In the early days of embedded systems, software engineers typically had some understanding of hardware design. Indeed, in many cases, it was the hardware designer who implemented the software. Over the years, as the amount of software development has increased, engineers have become less and less “hardware aware”. I find this transition interesting from the viewpoint of an embedded software … Read More

Verilog, RTOS, VHDL, FPGA, MicroBlaze, NIOS, Nucleus

28 Mar, 2013
PCB Design

FPGAs are Still Cool

Posted by Randall Myers

Randall Myers

Altera goes back to 1984, when you could get 720KB on a floppy.  After all these years, FPGAs still provide the right mix of being flexible like software while still being fixed and fast like hardware.  Why does this cool idea persist in new product designs? Fortunately the big FPGA vendors, such as Xilinx, have continued to invest in R&D.  Innovations from internal genius and acquisitions have

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7 Dec, 2012
PCB Design

How Do You Design with FPGAs?

Posted by Randall Myers

Randall Myers

Since FPGAs, field programmable gate arrays, are in their very nature fluid and changing, how do you force them into your electronics design techniques that all assume fixed parts?  Hardware design uses, well… hardware, physical chips and resistors that have fixed functionality.  We pull parts from libraries, wire them up, lay etch and build the gizmo.  FPGAs throw out the definition of hardware

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10 Sep, 2012

Colin Walls I am on vacation and, all being well, by the time this posting goes live, I will be sunning myself on a Greek island. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about the use of floating point. My colleague Brooks Moses [who did a guest blog post a while back] made a comment on that posting, pointing out that I had over-simplified my example. I am always happy to get such feedback. It transpired that Brooks … Read More

M4, Zynq, Cortex, e600, ARM, FPGA, Freescale, floating point

7 Jan, 2012

John Day Last month Broadcom said its BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet portfolio can reduce connectivity costs by up to 80 percent and cabling weight by as much as 30 percent. NXP Semiconductors licensed BroadR-Reach and intends to create automotive-grade products for the Ethernet physical layer. NXP noted in its announcement that major car manufacturers are designing with Ethernet as a high-bandwidth, low-cost … Read More

NXP Semiconductors, IEEE 802.1 AVB, Broadcom, automotive Ethernet, EAVB, FPGA, BroadR-Reach, Digital Design Corp.

15 Aug, 2011

J VanDomelen

Mentor Graphics has just revealed the program for its upcoming Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) 2011. If you’re not familiar with IESF, it’s one of the world’s leading events for design engineers, engineering management, and executives in the military and aerospace (mil/aero) industry. Even better, it’s free and in a great summer locale: the Marriott Long Beach hotel, in Long Beach, Calif.

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ASIC, Long Beach, Milaero, electrical, Mentor, Aerospace, Marriot, Military, Geek, Engineer, Electronic, Mil-Aero, FPGA, EWIS, DO-254, IESF, Hardware, Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum,, ARP 475A, Mentor Graphics

7 Mar, 2011
Embedded Software

Embedded World 2011

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls

Last week I attended the Embedded World show in Nuremberg, Germany. I have been to this event most years and it just seems to get bigger and bigger. I have not seen the latest detailed statistics, but they claim to be the largest embedded exhibition in the world and I think that there is every reason to believe this claim is valid. The event is well organized and the location makes a lot of sense.

I did not have the opportunity to spend a lot of time wandering the show floor, so I am not going to even try to give an impression of what was on offer. In any case, there are numerous online news sources where you can read comprehensive reports. For me, the interesting experience was the conference …

Embedded World follows the same broad model that is used by many trade events, such as the Embedded Systems Conference program in the US and elsewhere. Admission to the trade show itself is free, but there is a fee for attending the conference sessions [which are often termed "classes"]. I do not see any problem with this, but it is an interesting business model. They charge attendees money, but their only outgoings are the cost of the venue, some catering and logistics; they get the services of speakers, like myself, at no cost and expect us not to include any “sales and marketing” fluff in the presentations [and this requirement is adhered to by the majority of speakers].

I was able to attend a few conference sessions, which was certainly interesting. A guy from a company that is competitive to Mentor Embedded talked about the use [and misuse] of assembly language in embedded applications. This is a rather neglected subject nowadays and he had some very good points to make. Another session was on FPGAs - demystifying them for software engineers. Sadly, the speaker seemed to assume a certain level of knowledge about FPGAs and did not really augment that, just exuded great enthusiasm for the technology. A session which caught my imagination was about “Clean Code” - an approach to writing [embedded] code that focuses on clarity and readability, which is a matter upon which I have strong feelings. This session encapsulated a lot of good sense and I am sure that I will be writing about this topic again.

I presented a session titled “Dynamic Memory Allocation & Fragmentation in C & C++”, which was well attended [the room was full!] and seemed well received, with a number of questions. If you would like a copy of my slides, please email.

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FPGA, Clean Code, Embedded World, Agile

22 Jun, 2009

Colin Walls As a specialist in embedded software, I think that Mentor Graphics is an interesting place to work. The company has historically been dedicated to serving the needs of hardware developers - whether they are designing cables, boards, FPGAs, ASICs or custom chips. These technologies still dominate the product range today. The Embedded Systems Division is different - we offer products for embedded software … Read More

Hardware, FPGA, ASIC

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