HAPS is going back to its roots with a more modular architecture and takes advantage of some new features in the Virtex 7 architecture giving more capacity and performance...
Synopsys recently announced the newest version of its HAPS prototyping solution, which in some ways is a return to its roots. In the early days HAPS was a modular system with boards that plugged together to make larger systems. In order to improve performance, that modular architecture was replaced by putting multiple FPGA on a single board, but with the HAPS-70 series, it is back to one FPGA per board and extendable to 12 boards. Also utilizing the Virtex-7 FPGA boosts capacity, giving it a range of 12 to 144 million ASIC gates.
Prototyping is most certainly taking off with more companies every day using these systems for hardware/software integration and software validation. The new prototyping systems also has Deep Trace Debug, providing approximately 100 times more signal storage capacity than the traditional memory storage employed by on-chip FPGA logic debuggers. The Universal Multi-Resource Bus (UMRBus) host connectivity now runs up to 400 MB/s bandwidth. This provides a link between HAPS-70 systems and Synopsys’ Virtualizer-based virtual prototypes to create an integrated hybrid prototyping environment for early software development and hardware / software integration.
The modular architecture becomes possible by using high-speed links between the boards and the interconnect capacity upped using time-domain multiplexing. This is a significant upgrade over the previous time-based multiplexing on traditional pins. Also to ensure maximum upgradeability, older HAPS-60 series boards can be intermixed with HAPS-70 boards although total system performance may be limited by the older cards unless partitioning very carefully considers clock rates etc.
The system also comes with some updated software such that Certify has now become HAPS-aware, increasing prototyping productivity by up to 10x with algorithms to automate logic partitioning and live hardware queries to ease system bring-up compared to manual partitioning methods.
And the question on the tips of everyone’s tongue these days has to be – how will this fit in with Zebu. Well, they really aren’t letting on too much about the future of the two products yet except to say that they see them as complimentary solutions with some overlap.
Brian Bailey – keeping you covered
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