FPGA Based Rapid Prototyping

fpga based prototyping

At RT-RK programmable logic has been used since its early beginnings, starting from EPROM, PAL and PLD integrated circuits. With such a wide experience the company is confident to offer a complete design service based on modern FPGA and CPLD devices.

RT-RK FPGA prototyping group is trained for rapid prototyping of various digital systems, including tailored high performance digital signal processing, designing of dedicated application IP blocks, or signal adjustment among various types of interfaces. Additionally,  ASIC prototyping with FPGA devices, RTL design verification and IP outsourcing service are offered, including IP customization service.

Flexible and dynamic business organization, continuous development, training and exploitation of new design and verification technologies give the confidence of reaching the highest technical standards worldwide. Highly trained staff and the academic environment provide a perspective business environment.

All the activities in RT-RK FPGA group are strictly project-organized with the flow of project documents transparent to the customer.

Rapid Prototyping

The Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, powered with advanced simulation and synthesis tools is becoming the most preferred platform for the rapid development of highly integrated digital systems. Long design cycle is no longer acceptable in the presence of shorter Time-to-Market (TTM) pressures for products with increasingly shorter market windows.

Source code changes are straightforward for implementation and can be applied easily even in the last minute phase. In the case of mixed signal designs, it is possible to bridge analog sub blocks in various ways to accomplish required functionality, e.g. by setting equivalent digital model, by playing prerecorded typical sequences from memory, or by external connection with expected analog adjusted source. Such prototyping makes pre-silicon validation simple, reliable and cost effective. It is trustworthy methodology which prevents taped out design failures.

Final results achieved on prototyping platforms are:

  • Cost effective
  • Reliable
  • Consistent
  • On real HW in real time
  • Simple for redesign
  • Ready for validation, testing and bug fixing
  • Working on real hardware in real time
fpga bfx100

ASIC Prototyping

Modern ASIC designs are becoming more complex, making verification job more important for each block (IP, CPU, memory, etc.) added to the system. Verification process must be carefully planned and executed for reaching the goal of a bug-free RTL before ASIC production is started.

During SoC or ASIC project life-cycle FPGA based prototyping provides complete solution for design verification and validation. Based on latest FPGA devices ASIC prototyping offers design engineers unprecedented speed and flexibility to validate algorithm performance and verify implementation of hardware IP blocks. Additionally, ASIC prototyping with FPGA can assist in hardware/software co-verification cycle, providing possibility to software developers for real-time testing before real ASIC is produced. In this way ASIC prototyping with FPGA is dramatically reducing the verification time and increases the confidence for achieving the goal of first-time success with silicon production.

fpga muft
 

Beside traditional verification methods RT-RK offers real time verification on a market available platform or custom created one that can fulfill all customer requirements. Heavily trained and experienced team is here to ensure quality of custom solution.

During the past few years FPGA prototyping team has been involved in prototyping of newest generation of ASIC solution for digital television on modern multi-FPGA platforms. Highly trained team of RT-RK has gathered valuable experience with many design techniques for design partitioning. That helps pick the best order to optimize design for locality, which as a result minimizes the length and amount of inter-FPGA routing, giving the highest possible performance of an ASIC prototyping solution.

SoC and IC Applications

In the area of System-on-Chip and IC applications we offer services of integration of third party controllers, co-processors, and ICs on a target platform, including: target platform software adaptation, 3rd party software customization, and device driver development.

soc ic.1
soc ic.2

Design Verification Service

RT-RK can offer RTL verification as an event-driven simulation which uses a unique verification approach independent from the used RTL simulation tool chain. The verification environment can be run with any of today’s most capable EDA verification tools such as Cadence’s Incisive Verification Environment, Synopsys Discovery Verification Platform or ModelSim from Mentor Graphics.

Starting from defined verification plan RT-RK develops the verification environment including test vectors, test benches and verification modules, creates a complete regression environment using any of scripting languages, debug RTL based verification item list and generates various reports depending on customer requirements. Moreover, the process is active in verification plan development with suggestions for improving for targeted application.

Modern high performance and high accuracy verification technologies including mixed-HDL simulation, assertions, coverage reports, testbench automation, IP verification with industry standard languages as SystemVerilog, SystemC or VHDL are used.

RT-RK is experienced with real-time verification using FPGA. Various platforms can be used and extensions can be developed in order to create complete verification environment. Additionally, if a specific platform is required it can be designed from component selection in order fulfill all customer requirements.

Test
 

There are many benefits from using FPGA real-time verification as for running long tests and caching corner cases. These platforms can also be used for pre-silicon software development and significantly shorten time-to-market.

We perform pre-silicon software development using the following:

  • NCsim (Cadence)
  • Palladium (Cadence)
  • FPGA (CHIPit)
  • State-of-the-art methodologies for Hardware/Software co-verification
  • HAL Drivers Development
ic2
chip it

IP Outsourcing Service

RT-RK has been involved in numerous projects where dedicated embedded building blocks were designed. These blocks were treated as customer dedicated intellectual property modules with full care of accurate design and careful verification process. RTL code was functionally proven in real-time whether it was for FPGA devices or customer related ASIC production.

The goal of RT-RK IP outsourcing service is to give an opportunity to customers to realize their ideas in real-time environment better and faster, and be competitive on the worldwide market with lower cost and higher differentiation.

FPGA block

RT-RK IP outsourcing service provides variety of implementation techniques from design specification sign-off to RTL delivery and turns our customers' ideas into real-time devices. RT-RK has built a dedicated development flow with modern tool chain for supporting complex development process which accelerates tape out of a required IP block. The powerful combination of 3rd party EDA tools and internally developed proprietary tools results in a straightforward implementation flow that promises first time successes.