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Vendors line up behind dual-core PowerPC-based FPGA

Apr 16, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 13 views

Xilinx unveiled version 10.1 of its Embedded Development Kit (EDK) in support of its new high-end Virtex-5 FXT field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Meanwhile, software vendors supporting the EDK and the dual-core PowerPC-based FPGA include MontaVista, Wind River, LynuxWorks, Timesys, Avnet, Green Hills Software, and Lauterbach.

(Click for larger view of Avnet's Virtex-5 FXT FPGA Evaluation Kit)

Xilinx announced the Virtex-5 FXT FPGA two weeks ago. Designed for high-end communications applications such as wireless base-stations, the Virtex-5 FXT is the fastest in the company's 65nm Virtex-5 line, with DSP performance of over 190 GMACs, and one or two PowerPC 440 cores. This week at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), Xilinx demonstrated version 10.1 of its EDK, which upgrades its Xilinx Platform Studio embedded tool suite to support the new FPGA.

Virtex-5 function block diagram

The following vendors will support the Virtex-5 FXT FPGA and new EDK, according to Xilinx:

  • Avnet — Avnet released its Linux-compatible Xilinx Virtex-5 FXT FPGA Evaluation Kit (pictured at top). The $400 kit includes an evaluation board, ISE Design Suite 10.1 WebPack design tools, evaluation EDK software, power supply, and access to PowerPC 440 reference designs and tutorials.
  • LynuxWorks — This staunch Xilinx partner now supports the Virtex-5 FXT with its Bluecat Linux RTOS. LynuxWorks has offered support for both Virtex-4 PowerPC FPGAs, as well as the Xilinx MicroBlaze softcore, via its Bluecat-ME (Micro Edition).
  • Lauterbach — Germany-based Lauterbach is updating its Linux-compatible Trace32 software debugging and trace analysis product to support the Virtex-5 FXT.
  • MontaVista Software — The MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 4.0.1 distribution will be available with support for the Virtex-5 FXT in the second quarter, says MontaVista.
  • Timesys — A new LinuxLink subscription offers a “ready to boot” embedded Linux platform for the Virtex-5 FXT, says Timesys, which in January announced support for Virtex-4 FPGAs. The platform includes a 2.6.24 kernel, toolchain, integrated device drivers, and an optimized initial root file system.
  • Wind River Systems — Wind River is supporting the FPGA with its Linux General Purpose Platform (GPP) 1.3, as well as with its VxWorks 6.3/6.5 RTOS.

Additionally, Green Hills Software announced support for the chip in its Integrity 5.0.10 RTOS, Multi-IDE, and separation kernel, which supports Linux in a “Padded Cell” partition.

Stated Robert Day, VP of marketing at LynuxWorks, “The addition of two PowerPC 440 cores opens up some very interesting opportunities for our customers to build bigger and faster embedded applications taking advantage of our open-standards operating systems running on a programmable device.”

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