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Arm collaboration with Xilinx

Arm has announced at the Xilinx Developer Forum in San Jose, that it is collaborating with Xilinx, to bring the benefits of Arm Cortex-M processors to FPGAs through the Arm DesignStart programme, providing scalability and a standardised processor architecture across the Xilinx portfolio.

According to Arm, this collaboration will mean that it will now be possible to gain fast, completely no cost access to proven, soft processor IP, easy design integration with Xilinx tools and comprehensive software development solutions to accelerate the development of FPGAs.

Arm’s Cortex-M processors give embedded developers the opportunity to benefit from simplified software development and superior code density. In addition, they will now have the support of a broad technology ecosystem of software, tools and services providing a valuable and accessible path on which to scale products.

Developers can choose from a spectrum of options by considering factors such as design requirements, budget, resource availability and time-to-market, all critical in an increasingly connected world with a vast range of applications and needs.

Options include SBCs, off-the-shelf chips, FPGAs and custom silicon. Product manufacturers can establish a competitive advantage through the design flexibility and differentiation offered by more application-optimised FPGA and custom silicon designs.

By choosing Arm for FPGAs, designers will be able to accelerate development times benefitting from: instant access to Cortex-M1 (an FPGA-optimised version of the Cortex-M0 processor) and Cortex-M3 soft processor IP for FPGA integration with Xilinx products – all for no license fee and no royalties; getting maximum reuse of software across an entire OEM’s product portfolio on a standardised CPU architecture, scaling from single board computers through to FPGAs; easy integration with Xilinx system and peripheral IP through the Vivado Design Suite, using a drag-and-drop design approach to create FPGA systems with Cortex-M processors and, finally, from reduced time-to-market.

Arm for FPGA is intended to simplify the development on a consistent architecture spanning Xilinx’s Spartan, Artix and Zynq portfolios.

The Arm and Xilinx collaboration enables developers to take advantage of the benefits of heterogeneous compute on a single processor architecture by using the Cortex-A processors built in to the Zynq SoC portfolio alongside the newly available Cortex-M soft IP in DesignStart.

By allocating processing tasks to the right compute engine, whether high performance Cortex-A, real-time Cortex-M or custom logic, developers will now be able to create more sophisticated products.

Author
Neil Tyler

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