Blog

Issue 5: State Machine Design & Analysis

State machines are at the heart of our designs. They enable us to implement sequential structures in a parallel programmable logic world. We use them to implement control structures and communication protocols, however complex state machines design can also significantly slow down our development due to the challenges associated in debugging issues, epically if only […]

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Issue 4: Creating our own Packages

One of the reasons we use Blue Pearl’s Visual Verification™ Suite is to enter simulation and synthesis with a better quality of code. Improved code quality means we have identified and addressed coding standard violations, structural logic issues, long combinatorial paths and of course, clock domain crossing issues. To ensure the same quality across several […]

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Issue 3: Working with Xilinx Parameterized Macros for CDC

When it comes to crossing clock domains it is best, if possible, to implement the crossing using registers which are located close together and have small set up and hold windows. In short, our register structures used for clock domain crossing should be optimized for signals which may go metastable. In our Xilinx designs this […]

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Issue 2: Identifying & correcting difficult to find RTL problems earlier

All engineers know the earlier we identify an issue in our design, the easier and less costly it is to correct. We also know some issues are easier than others to identify. The worst kind are those which are intermittent and manifest late in the test regime or, even worse, in the field. These late […]

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Getting Started with Blue Pearl Issue One: Introduction

Our FPGA and SoC designs are increasingly complex and used for a wide range of applications from autonomous driving to image processing, machine learning, defence, aerospace and space applications. Of course, while complexity has increased the available development time has been static or reduced. Indeed, both the AspenCore embedded survey 2017 and 2019 indicate the […]

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Improving the quality of spacecraft RTL using HDL linting

If you have ever aspired to write out-of-this-world RTL, there’s never been a better time as satellites, spacecraft, landers, and rovers are increasingly using FPGAs and ASICs in their sub-systems. Some recent peer-reviews have highlighted poor coding techniques that have resulted in space-electronics failures, e.g. a $1M CubeSat becoming inoperable by getting trapped in a […]

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Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 227: Blue Pearl Visual Verification Suite automates design checking to improve design quality

Over the last couple of weeks, we have examined how we can debug our designs using Micrium’s μC/Probe (Post 1 and Post 2) or with the JTAG to AXI Bridge. However, the best way to minimize time spent debugging is to generate high quality designs in the first place. We can then focus on ensuring […]

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What Makes a Great Verification Methodology

Today’s modern Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools are built to solve the most challenging of design problems. For IP, FPGA and ASIC design, most tools are developed leveraging modern software development methodologies such as Agile software design. Many also implement their software using languages that foster code reuse such as OOAD. EDA vendors, including Blue […]

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The Value of High Reliability RTL for FPGA Design

Introduction Today’s FPGA designs are typically developed by assembling between 50 to 100 unique IP blocks to form a complete System on Chip (SoC) including embedded processors, high speed serial interfaces, analog, signal processing and control logic. These systems are large, complex and partitioned into multiple clock domains and reset structures required to interface and […]

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Tcl scripts and managing messages in ASIC & FPGA debug

Our previous Blue Pearl post looked at the breadth of contextual visualization capability in the GUI to speed up debug. Two other important aspects of the ASIC & FPGA pre-synthesis workflow are automating analysis with scripts and managing the stream of messages produced. Let’s look at these aspects in the latest Blue Pearl 2016.1 release. […]

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