[Oberon] FPGA Oberon System synthesis for fourteen different FPGAs

skulski at pas.rochester.edu skulski at pas.rochester.edu
Sun Oct 19 04:35:37 CEST 2014


I synthesized the FPGA Oberon System (FOS) for fourteen Xilinx FPGAs
listed in the attached spreadsheet. The goal of this exercise was to
estimate the FPGA resources taken by the FOS and the predicted
performance. I did not optimize anything. Just compiled "as is" (almost,
see below). The good news:

1. The synthesis suceeded for all the listed targets despite the
differences among the chips.

2. I did not have to tweak anything (almost).

3. The estimated performance in MHz looks decent in the new Artix chips.

4. The FPGA resources taken by FOS are very reasonable for most of the
chips, except the original one where the design takes the entire chip, and
the lowest Spartan-6 which was too small to host the firmware. Otherwise
there is plenty of room left for other firmware modules.

The "almost" means that I had to remove the hardwired clock location from
the video module. This location made sense for the Spartan-3 XC3S200, but
not for the other chips. I also removed the pin location file from the
project because the pins are specific to a particular chip and the board.

Despite this apparent success, this is just a starting point. There are a
few synthesis warnings in the original target, which need to be understood
because this design is supposed to be optimal. In other cases there are
plenty of synthesis warnings due to dissimilar gate fabric among the FPGA
families. These need to be understood and addressed.

The FOS appears almost portable, but some adjustments will be needed. Some
features are tied to Spartan-3. For example, the file Multiplier1.v uses
the built-in MULT18X18, which is specific to Spartan-3. The synthesis tool
is smart enough to map it to the newer hardware, so there is no immediate
problem to address here. The MULT18X18 component can be replaced with the
DSP slice that is present in the newer chips.

The code is written in terse register-transfer (RTL) Verilog that may be
hard to follow for casual FPGA developers. It may be tempting to recast
some sections into easier to follow "behavioral HDL".

Hope it helps,
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: FPGA_comparison.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 5999 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/pipermail/oberon/attachments/20141018/7bed6f34/attachment-0001.pdf 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: FPGA_comparison.xls
Type: application/octet-stream
Size: 18432 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/pipermail/oberon/attachments/20141018/7bed6f34/attachment-0001.obj 

More information about the Oberon mailing list