Licence simplifies FPGA IP integration
ARC Cores has enhanced its position in the 32bit user-customisable soft processor market be signing up as a charter member of the Common Licence Consortium
ARC Cores joins Xilinx and other worldwide third-party IP providers in offering the SignOnce IP Licence - a common set of IP licence terms for customers of programmable logic IP. The result is claimed as a first for the IP industry - a single set of licensing terms, giving Xilinx and ARC customers access to IP cores from multiple vendors for use in Xilinx programmable logic devices.
"ARC has been a key collaborator with Xilinx in the creation of the SignOnce IP licence concept", said Mark Bowlby, AllianceCORE programme manager at Xilinx.
"We are glad to be able to leverage the efforts from our partnership with ARC to help produce a program that eliminates the bottleneck of multiple, differing licence agreements for programmable logic users".
"We see this as a significant development since ARC's mission is to help SoC designers to accelerate their development and get their products to market quickly.
We already provide the processor core, peripheral IP, software and tools as part of that strategy to ease the design flow.
Now, with our involvement in the Common Licence Consortium, we can help our customers to take several more months off their development cycle", said Emmanuel Benzaquen, strategic alliance manager at ARC Cores.
The ARCtangent-A4 processor differs from traditional RISC processors because its instruction set can be configured to match a customer's exact requirements.
This makes it suitable for a wider range of applications than an external or embedded fixed-instruction-set processor.
ARC's toolset allows a designer to customise the processor to achieve either greater system performance or lower power at reduced clock frequencies, making it ideal as a soft, FPGA-based solution.
Benzaquen adds, "With our recently announced ARCangel 3 hardware prototyping development system based on the Xilinx Virtex-E FPGA, a customer can now create a complete complex SoC including several cores with just one set of tools and also one single licence".
The ARCangel 3 allows designers to evaluate SoC systems based on the ARCtangent-A4 processor integrated with other IP for designs of over 2.5 million FPGA system gates.
The development board is designed around an 1156-pin Xilinx Virtex XCV2000E, featuring up to 2,541,952 system gates, over 655,360bit of block RAM and up to 804 user I/O pins.
The board can also support the larger XCV2600E or XCV3200E FPGA devices.
With this enlarged capacity, the development platform easily supports integration of ARC's 32bit user-customisable processor with other logic and IP typically found in a complex SoC design.
This allows comprehensive hardware-software debug and verification of different ARCtangent-A4 processor configurations, custom instructions, custom interfaces, multiple processor systems, additional IP blocks, and SignOnce IP Licence third-party cores.
The extensive user programmable I/O enables easy hardware debugging and interfacing to external prototyping cards and components.
Customers can purchase a full licence for the ARC core that includes the core configuration utilities, development tools and the ARCangel board directly from ARC Cores.
Users can also purchase optimised Xilinx netlists for application specific configurations of ARC's core from ARC Certified Design Centres and companies who can also integrate those into complete chip- and board-level designs.
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