Technical Articles

It’s time to upgrade your prototyping platform to V7-2000T FPGA
2014.01.06 | Mon-Ren Chene | Chief Technology Officer

Are you still debating if you should upgrade to Virtex-7 2000T FPGA for SoC/ASIC prototyping? I highly recommend upgrading immediately because the Virtex-7 FPGA design flow is now mature, with already 5 Vivado software releases from Xilinx. More importantly, the V7-2000T FPGA is at an affordable price suitable for volume adoption. This is also good news for early V7-2000T adopters because the new price allows replication of a lot more platforms for concurrent developments. I summarized 5 good reasons to upgrade to V7-2000T for SoC/ASIC prototyping below. Read more...


What I think about Xilinx Virtex-7 2000T & Vivado Design Kit
2013.03.11 | Ashok Kulkarni | AE Director, North America

In 2012, S2C successively released Single, Dual and Quad Xilinx Virtex-7 2000T FPGA-based SoC/ASIC prototyping systems. Given that the latest technology employed by Virtex-7 (V7) FPGA is new both to the industry and to S2C’s customers, many customers have called upon us to inquire about the new FPGA features and their software support. For the purpose of answering these questions, this blog provides a brief overview of the Xilinx V7-2000T FPGA, which currently boasts the largest gate capacity in the industry , and the brand-new Vivado software design kit that supports the FPGA. Read more...


Why SCE-MI has not been Widely Adopted Today?
2012.02.09 | Toshio Nakama | Chief Executive Officer

We have introduced the needs and benefits for verification engineers to send/receive large amount of computer test data to/from designs in FPGA-based prototypes in The Power of S2C's C-API blog. S2C’s C-API software is one of the options which is easy to set up and customize. Today, I will write about using SCE-MI to do the same job but with better expandability and cross-platform capabilities. Read more...


FPGA Prototyping - Build versus Buy Comparing Apples to Apples
2011.12.12 | Steve Pollock | VP, Marketing and Business Development

Sometimes we hear from customers that our off the shelf FPGA prototyping solutions are too expensive and that they can build the boards themselves at a lower cost. If you take the bill of materials and add up the costs, it appears that you could save money by building the boards in-house. But is this really the case? Read more...


FPGA Based Prototyping, the 'Why', 'What' and 'How' – Part 2
2011.11.21 | Ashok Kulkarni | AE Director, North America

The key benefits of FPGA based prototyping are – low cost, high performance and easy deployment. In addition to these benefits, ability to interface with real-time devices allows the designer to observe the SoC prototype's behavior in the context of a real system. Low system cost makes it affordable to create multiple pre-silicon hardware platforms for software development. FPGA based prototyping offers significantly high operating performance, typically in the range of 10 MHz to 80 MHz, enabling verification of designs that are subjective in nature, such as a video frame. Read more...


FPGA Based Prototyping, the 'Why', 'What' and 'How' – Part 1
2011.11.09 | Ashok Kulkarni | AE Director, North America

Before I delve into the details of FPGA based prototyping we need to answer the question, "Why Prototype". All designs, whether they are SoC or ASIC or ASSP (hereafter SoC is also assumed to mean ASIC and ASSP), need to be verified (functional and timing) to ensure that the implemented model matches the desired behavior of the design, prior to silicon availability. Further, most SoCs are differentiated by the software content. So the availability of a pre-silicon hardware platform for software development early on, is crucial. The modern day SoC designs continue to increase in gate density, cost and complexity. Getting the silicon right the first time is an absolute necessity – failing which the cost can run into several million $$ to re-spin silicon, and a lost market opportunity can be devastating to the business. Read more...


The Power of S2C's C-API
2011.09.25 | Tony Wu | AE Director

S2C's C-API function allows verification engineers to send/receive large amount of test data in computers to/from designs in FPGA-based prototypes. I have talked with many verification engineers and one common challenge today is the ability to create enough test cases and often the corner cases for validating their design in FPGA-based prototypes thouroughly. While linking their prototypes to target systems enable engineers to access to real world test environment, it is often hard to create corner test cases in real world environment. Therefore, a good design methodology would be to complement the real world test environment with addtitional verification data that can be run from a computer on a FPGA-based prototypes. Read more...


Understanding the Cost of 'Not' Prototyping
2011.08.22 | Steve Pollock | VP, Marketing and Business Development

Before answering the question of the cost of not prototyping let's understand why you should prototype. The prototyping that I am talking about is FPGA prototyping of SoC and ASIC designs before committing the designs to production.
The main advantages of prototyping are:
  • Finding errors that aver virtually impossible to find with simulation and emulation techniques.
  • Early software development on a prototype of the target system
  • Being able to debug the design in the real environment