FPGA Development

IMG 3677 Version 2

Bitvis is the leading independent FPGA design centre in Norway, and also recognised abroad for our methodology for efficient and high quality development.

Our two-day course on 'FPGA Development Best Practices' has been held in three different countries - with great feedback, and our internationally acclaimed VHDL testbench library is now free and open source (Bitvis Utility Library).

Services provided

Specification
-  Concept, Feasibility, Requirements
Design
-  From modules to complete FPGAs
-  Architecture, algoritms, implementation
-  High speed, Low power, Design for Verification & Test
-  Clock domain crossing, IO timing
Verification
-  Testbench Architecture and implementation
-  Simulation at any level
-  Verification IP and Dedicated environment
    - From our own open source Bitvis Utility Library
    - To advanced TBs with concurrent BFMs for multiple, active interfaces
    - BFMs and TLMs for any interface/protocol
  - Regression verification and concurrent development
Methodology
  - Major focus on Efficiency and Quality Improvement
  - Dedicated internal courses and colloqia on typical pitfalls
  - Two-day course on 'FPGA Develpment Best Practices' - on request
Review and Sparring Partner
  - For any FPGA related issues
  - For any development stage
  - Typically for critical phases like specification, architecture, concepts, CDC, ...

Technologies and Tools

(In alphabetical order)

FPGA technology and related tool experience
-  Altera
-  MicroSemi (Actel)
-  Xilinx
Third party Simulators
-  Aldec
-  Mentor
Design and Verification languages
- SystemVerilog
- Verilog
- VHDL

 

FPGA Opportunities

FPGAs are excellent for most applications.

They allow far more flexible embedded (electronic) systems as the hardware is programmable, - and for most technologies alse re-programmable.

An FPGA may offer a performance that is not possible to achieve with any microcontroller, processor, DSP or even GPU.

In lots of electronic systems an FPGA will reduce the total product cost - in particular due to the higher integration - resulting in fewer components and a smaller product.

The higher integration also significantly improves the quality of the product and the MTBF.

FPGAs have lots of advantages over other technologies, but they are not ALWAYS the right solution. We have the experience to help you making a good system solution. 

 

FPGA challenges and pitfalls

There are numerous challenges and pitfalls when designing a complex FPGA. Even though an FPGA is designed using a software like approach, it is extremely important to be aware that this is actually real hardware. Hence a detailed understanding of Digital design is required for most applications. 

The major challenges are design architecure, parallelism, timing, clock domain crossing, verification structure and approach, HW understanding, performancem cycle relations, and sometimes also low power, design for testability, etc.
Designers seem to fall into almost the same pitfalls time after time, and unfortunately that is seen as a general problem when using FPGAs.

It is however possible to handle the challenges in a structured manner and to avoid the pitfalls. This is only a question of structure, methodology, knowledge and experience. To our knowledge Bitvis is the only design centre in Norway that is being really pro-active in this area.

  • We have developed a methodology to handle the major challenges and pitfalls, - and even made a two-day open course "FPGA Development Best Practices" on this subject.
  • We regularly go through this course internally - to increase awareness and improve the competence. Experience CAN be shared....
  • We make IP and tools to improve and secure the development flow

See more info on this in our presentation on