I just heard about a new open source tool chain from Alex Kuznetsov in Moscow, Russia. He sent me an email saying:
Hi Max, I'm a developer of a new open-source software package dedicated to configurable IP cores packaging. The cores in question are basically RTL templates and therefore can be used both for FPGA and ASIC projects. The first public version was just released on Monday, January 24th. Maybe your readers would find this story interesting; in that case the official news release is as follows:
A new open-source software package, CoreTML framework, has been just released. It provides the necessary tools to create configurable RTL IP cores that produce VHDL/Verilog source based on user-supplied parameters.
CoreTML framework is arguably the first such piece of software that is both open-source and vendor-neutral. Currently configurable IP cores provide their own ways for the user to set up core parameters. Commercial EDA suites for FPGA design come with vendor-locked tools that can be used to generate only the IP cores developed by the EDA vendor or its partners. Being liberally licensed, CoreTML framework doesn't impose such a limitation and can be used for both commercial and noncommercial projects while achieving maximum portability.
A configurable IP core includes a definition of its parameters and a set of templates which are used to generate RTL source code. CoreTML templates are based on a specially designed Template Markup Language that allows the developer to supplement VHDL/Verilog source code with additional control tags which are recognized by the processing software. Template Markup Language leverages Lua programming language to provide a flexibility needed for the design of configurable IP cores.
CoreTML includes a Temlpate Markup Language processing tool, a graphical tool that can be used to configure the IP core, a couple of IP core examples and full documentation. CoreTML framework is licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
The development team also plans to develop a few more IP core examples to make a small configurable IP core library based on the CoreTML framework, as well as to make EDA integration smoother.
I always like to see new folks coming online -- hopefully this will lead to something big -- maybe we can persuade Alex to write a "How To" design article walking us through the process ... I'll "ping" him and see...
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.