Programmable Logic


ISP Flash configuration for ARM-based FPGAs

9 November 2016 Programmable Logic

XJTAG has extended the capability of its high-speed in-system programming (ISP) technology, XJFlash. The solution effectively brings the benefits of XJFlash to memory devices connected to the processor subsystem of dual ARM-Cortex-A9 based FPGAs.

According to XJTAG, new and existing customers will experience programming times as much as 20 times faster than existing solutions when configuring memory attached to the processor subsystems of the industry’s leading FPGA SoCs, such as Xilinx Zynq and Altera Cyclone V SoCs, which feature dual ARM Cortex-A9 processors.

The use of FPGAs with integrated processor subsystems is increasing. While these subsystems are fully integrated into the FPGA fabric, they feature their own dedicated, external non-volatile program memory, connected to the physical pins of the FPGA. Configuring these memories in both development and production environments is normally a slow and often complex process. With XJFlash these memories can now be configured simply and at high speed through the JTAG port of the FPGA, without the need for any additional PCB connections.

With this latest development, XJFlash is now able to access and configure memory devices connected to a wider range of FPGAs. Support for the ARM Cortex-A9 based SoCs extends to partial reconfiguration and optimised erase, delivering further productivity benefits. This enables memory devices to be partially erased and reconfigured without having to reprogram the entire device, and also minimises the erase time when regions of a device are already blank.

XJFlash forms part of XJTAG’s portfolio of powerful JTAG tools. As well as needing no additional programming hardware, it claims faster configuration cycles than other programming technologies, for all types of non-volatile memory, including SPI, QSPI and parallel NOR Flash. XJFlash can be used wherever XJTAG can – as part of a standalone XJTAG test system , or fully integrated into third-party test executives (such as LabVIEW) in systems which also use other automated test equipment (ATE).

Existing licensees will automatically benefit from the expanded capabilities of XJFlash. New customers can contact XJTAG or one of its distribution partners for a demonstration. Initial support for FPGA/processor platforms includes Xilinx Zynq-7000 SoCs and Altera Cyclone V SoC devices.



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