Hardware Development Kit supports user IP in FPGAs

July 29, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Hardware Development Kit supports user IP in FPGAs
Abaco's hardware development kit uses Xilinx Vivado ML Editions technology to keep separate blocks of IP secure in an FPGA

Abaco Systems has launched a Hardware Development Kit (HDK) that allows users to develop IP in unallocated logic on Xilinx FPGAs.

The HDK uses specific features in the new Xilinx Vivado ML Editions tool suite launched last month for users to implement custom intellectual property (IP) while maintaining the overall integrity of the Abaco IP.

The Dynamic Function eXchange (DFX) feature allowed Abaco to implement a static design with its proprietary IP, while making room in the FPGA for a dynamically programmable region for custom designs. During the development process, Abstract Shells are used to only compile the dynamic region, accelerating compile times and protecting Abaco’s IP. At runtime, DFX is used to swap designs in and out of the dynamic region.  The HDK includes a static partition bitstream, Vivado ML reprogrammable partition example design, and build scripts for implementing the abstraction layer interfaces. 

The HDK allows end-customers to harness available programmable logic resources for application such as enhanced security, digital signal processing and other custom algorithms. Developing these unallocated resources could reduce or eliminate additional hardware, further simplifying designs and optimizing size, weight and power (SWaP).

The HDK initially supports Abaco’s SBC3511, SBC6511, and IPN254, with availability to support other boards in the near future.

“Xilinx worked closely with Abaco as they developed their Hardware Development Kit,” said Ramine Roane, vice president of marketing, Software and AI Solutions at Xilinx. “Abaco greatly benefited from the Dynamic Function eXchange and Abstract Shells flows with Vivado ML. DFX enables them to quickly adapt to their customer requests, loading new hardware functions on demand. Abstract Shells also safeguards the Abaco IP while speeding up compile times during hardware development.”

“As a leader in rugged embedded high performance, high durability computing sub-systems, Abaco’s release of the Hardware Development Kit is a continuation of our vision to deploy more tools that will ease customer integration into the overall system. Allowing our developer customers to use these resources without concern of corrupting the IP in the static partition provides the opportunity to re-use previously licensed IP in that static partition without the cost or administration of re-licensing, further saving time and reducing costs on complex projects,” said Pete Thompson, vice president of product management for Abaco Systems.

www.abaco.com

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