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Message-Oriented Devices on FPGAs

Author(s): T. Baumela, O. Gruber, O. Muller, F. Pétrot

Doc. Source: International Symposium on Rapid System Prototyping (RSP 2018)

Publisher: ACM IEEE

Pages: 8-14

Doi : 10.1109/RSP.2018.8631987

Embedded systems increasingly include an FPGA for performance or power efficiency. Fortunately, FPGA makers provide efficient tools to develop and assemble multiple Intellectual Properties (IPs) as devices on FPGAs. Unfortunately, the integration challenge does not stop there, hardware devices are only usable if they have available software device drivers executing on the processor subsystem. To better approach this end-to-end integration challenge, across both hardware and software, we argue that both sides need to evolve. We propose to take a step towards message-based interfaces for hardware devices integrated on an FPGA. Our goal is to deliver to the FPGA market the plug-and-play value of the USB stack with essentially no performance overhead, negligible power increase, and a reasonable surface cost. We have implemented our proposal on the Xilinx Zynq SoC, combining ARM cores and an FPGA, demonstrating the feasibility of the approach.