Altium’s FPGA developer’s kit shrinks time to market

Sydney, Australia-based Altium Ltd. announced Nexar, a hardware design and software development product integrated into one environment for system-level design capabilities for FPGA (field-programmable gate array) platforms.

12/11/2003



Integral to Nexar is a reconfigurable FPGA-based development board—NanoBoard—that can interact with processor cores and instruments as well as help debug the design. Multiple NanoBoards can be chained together to facilitate design of complex multi-FPGA systems.

Sydney, Australia-based Altium Ltd . announced Nexar, a hardware design and software development product integrated into one environment for system-level design capabilities for FPGA (field-programmable gate array) platforms. Nexar permits engineers without experience in hardware description language (HDL) to design and implement a complete embedded system inside an FPGA. For hardware independence, a Xilinx Spartan II and an Altera Cyclone chip are included in the developer's kit.

Among Nexar’s user benefits are parallel design of hardware and software—for shorter embedded systems development cycles—more flexible hardware/software design partitioning, and an interactive environment called LiveDesign that eases system-on-FPGA development and debug. The schematic-based design method streamlines connectivity of functional blocks at the system level, compared to HDLs. However, users comfortable with creating their own logic blocks can still use an HDL for custom design. LiveDesign minimizes reliance on time-consuming system-level simulation required by other design flows. There is little time or cost penalty for engineers to try different design solutions.

Extensive libraries of royalty-free, pre-synthesized IP components make schematic design more efficient. Nexar also includes a library of IP-based virtual instruments (logic analyzers, frequency counters/generators, and I/O monitors) that help to debug the system. These instruments have on-screen front panels analogous to their physical counterparts to let users "see" inside the FPGA during the design process.

Nexar reportedly simplifies system software development by providing complete development tools for all supplied processor cores. Software development is enabled directly on the target hardware early in the design. Designers can develop their program code directly on real hardware.

Target markets for Nexar include automotive, industrial control, and other applications with relatively high product value, but where market size doesn’t allow standard ASIC development, says Altium. Nexar is slated to ship during first-quarter 2004 at an anticipated list price of US $7,995, including service upgrades and technical support.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, fbartos@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me