February 28, 2012 -- Xilinx, Inc. today announced open-source Linux Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP) support for its extensible processing platform (EPP), enabling developers to put Zynq-7000 devices to work on applications that need to deliver deterministic, real-time responsiveness for markets such as automotive, industrial and others with similar requirements.
Using open-source Linux and FreeRTOS operating systems and the RPMsg Inter Processor Communication (IPC) framework between the Zynq EPP's two high-performance ARM Cortex-A9 processors, Xilinx is able to simplify the implementation of AMP systems so system software developers can build their systems quickly.
"High-performance, multicore processor systems are becoming more common, but they are not always effective at providing real-time performance, especially when running complex operating systems such as Linux," said Xilinx Vice President of Processing Platforms, Lawrence Getman. "Xilinx's offering is a pre-canned AMP solution that utilizes the best of both worlds in what a high-level, application-specific Linux OS and RTOS has to offer. Our solution built with Xilinx Alliance Program member PetaLogix also serves as a starting point for developers with custom AMP mechanisms to integrate their own solutions."
In a real-time system, responses to events must occur within a fixed, predetermined time, which can be a difficult task to achieve when the required response time is short and must be handled in a safety relevant manner. Automotive driver assistance applications, or next-generation industrial control systems which integrate the control loop with motor control and safety supervision, are examples of such systems. Multiple events must be processed in these systems, leading to multiple responses, each with a different timing requirement.
Implementing a real-time system using the Xilinx AMP solution with the Zynq-7000 EPP means that one processor can run Linux as the master OS, while the other runs the smaller FreeRTOS OS which focuses exclusively on real-time functions, essentially controlling the complex computational capabilities and data processing that's performed in the device's integrated 28nm programmable logic. Communications between the two processors is carried out using the RPMsg standard.
"Delivered as source code, documentation and reference examples, PetaLogix has worked with Xilinx to design and deliver a light-weight solution leveraging FreeRTOS and RPMsg that let designers easily create their real-time asymmetric multicore processing systems on the Zynq-7000 EPP," said Dr. John Williams, Founder and CEO at PetaLogix. "RPMsg is emerging as a compelling framework for Linux-based asymmetric multiprocessor systems, and in conjunction with our PetaLinux SDK Zynq Edition tools will deliver the flexibility and ease of use of Linux, with the real-time capabilities of FreeRTOS."
The Linux OS-based Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP) solution for the Zynq-7000 EPP (Beta) is planned for March 2012, with general release in April 2012. Zynq-7000 device samples are available today.
Go to the Xilinx, Inc. website to find additional information.