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Application Specific Hardware Emulation & ASIC Prototyping using multiple FPGAs

Complex "System-On-Chip" HDL designs using various Intellectual Property building blocks can be synthesized for implementation into reconfigurable FPGAs with capacities up to 200,000 gates. (Capacities up to 1,000,000 gates are projected in the very near future.)

Alternatively, the design can be partitioned into multiple FPGAs to simplify design iteration. By interconnecting these FPGAs on a custom Printed Circuit board, the system can operate with 25-66 MHz clock frequencies, more than 20x faster than conventional Quickturn Hardware Emulators. Although the maximum FPGA clock frequencies are less than that possible with submicron ASICs, the PC-compatible clock frequency eliminates engineering complex buffer circuits required by slow clock commercial Hardware Emulators.

Synthesis of Verilog (RTL) hierarchical modules and partitioning into multiple FPGAs based on input/output signal constraints and logic capacities is an "art", where experience improves the results. Performances achieved with automated partitioning software are usually not adequate for the clock frequencies desired.

Hardware emulation using custom Printed Circuit Boards with multiple FPGA and standard ICs achieves higher speed operation than general purpose commercial products. The expensive commercial emulator products offer extensive signal probing capability to analyze logic functionality; however, the large physical size of this equipment and slow 1 MHz clock frequency limit their portability.

In some designs, multiple clocks with frequencies up to 100 MHz are possible.

SRAM based FPGAs from Xilinx, Altera, or Lucent are easily re-configured to incorporate design changes (incremental FPGA download) which expedites system software evaluation.

Re-Configurable Processing Unit (RPU) H.O.T. Works products from Virtual Computer Corporation also accelerates cpu intensive computing with Xilinx PCI-compliant development system.

ASIC Design & Marketing can create multiple low-cost re-configurable prototypes for system engineers to verify ASIC functionality and accelerate system development schedules!

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