As embedded and IoT applications continue to grow and push boundaries, there is a need for flexibility in product designs. This has resulted in a significant growth in application-optimized designs.
The Xilinx product portfolio has been built to enable customized designs; some of these products, like the Zynq-7000, pair the customizable logic of the FPGA with a high-performance Arm processor. There have been over one billion cost-optimized Xilinx devices sold to-date and there has been a three-times increase in Zynq-7000 shipments in the last two years!
In 2018, Arm introduced DesignStart FPGA to improve the design possibilities for embedded and IoT developers. DesignStart FPGA provides developers access to Arm Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 soft processor IP for drag-and-drop integration with the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite, making commercial FPGA-based innovation faster, easier, more affordable and more diverse. The Cortex-M1 CPU is an FPGA-optimized version of the Cortex-M0 processor, and the Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 CPUs together address a very wide market – providing proven, trusted compute to smart embedded devices.
To date, Arm’s presence in the FPGA market has mainly been focused on Cortex-A CPU based SoCs integrated alongside FPGA fabric. DesignStart FPGA adds Cortex-M to the Xilinx FPGA portfolio and makes it easy to deploy it to any development board. And the best bit, there are no license fees, no access fees and no royalties, allowing designers to develop quickly and benefit from the broadest technology ecosystem of software, tools, resources and services.
Today, we are very pleased to announce Adam Taylor as the newest member of the Arm Innovator Program. Adam is the founder of Adiuvo Engineering and Training and the visiting Professor of Embedded Systems at the University of Lincoln. Adam has been working with Xilinx and Arm-based FPGA and embedded processors for the last seven years and most recently he has been developing with the Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 processors via DesignStart FPGA.
Over the last five years, Adam has developed a blog series; the MicroZed Chronicles and Hackster.IO projects. The MicroZed Chronicles explores how developers can leverage the heterogeneous system-on-chip (SoC) design, such as Xilinx Zynq and Zynq MPSoC devices, which fuse Arm Cortex processors and programmable logic. The series also examines a range of topics, from the basics to developing programmable logic using C, working with IoT frameworks and leveraging system-optimizing compilers that allow seamless transfer of functionality between Cortex processors and programmable logic.
If you’re thinking about designing with Xilinx and Arm, take a look at Adam’s top guides and tutorials:
If you would like to use Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 in your next FPGA design, you can access the soft processor IP.
To keep up-to-date with Innovator-based projects, and the ways you can benefit from their work, sign up to the Innovator Program newsletter below:
Sign-up to the Arm Innovator Program
Finally, don’t miss the chance to meet Adam at ESC Boston where he will be running a workshop for developers to understand how to implement and develop software for the Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 CPU soft IP in commercial FPGAs. The session is on May 16, 2019 from 8am.