August 17, 2011 -- The implementation of an embedded processor within an FPGA requires many of the same decisions and trade-offs required to implement a discrete processor design. Some of the factors influencing an embedded processor implementation include clear and concrete system requirements, good design methodology, efficient co-design , and proper design partitioning.
There are multiple hardware and software trade-offs that must be completed to implement a processor within an FPGA. Some design considerations include selection of the processor core, selection of the peripherals blocks and IP, processor memory architecture and design element interconnection.
Some software design considerations include informed coding, selection and use of a real-time operating system (RTOS), and device driver development. Both software and hardware tools are critical factors, and every effort should be taken to select the best tools available.
By R.C. Cofer and Ben Harding. (Cofer has almost 25 years of embedded design experience, including real-time DSP algorithm development, high-speed hardware, ASIC and FPGA and project focus; Harding has almost 20 years of experience in embedded systems design involving DSPs, network processors and programmable logic.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
View the entire article on the EE Times Embedded website.