Lattice Design Tools Provide Complete 8-Bit Microcontroller System Support For Cost Sensitive, Low Power Pld Applications

19th April 2011
Posted By : ES Admin
Lattice Design Tools Provide Complete 8-Bit Microcontroller System Support For Cost Sensitive, Low Power Pld Applications
Lattice Semiconductor announced release 1.2 of its Lattice Diamond FPGA design software tool suite, the flagship design environment for Lattice FPGA products. Users of the new MachXO2 PLD devices can now generate complete systems based on the LatticeMico8 open source 8-bit controller core using the LatticeMico™ System tool, which is available with the Lattice Diamond design environment.
In addition, Lattice Diamond release 1.2 enhances support for the MachXO2 PLD family by providing preliminary silicon-based models for the recently released LCMXO2-1200 and LCMXO2-1200U devices, and by adding support for all ultra-high I/O count MachXO2 devices as well as the wafer level package needed for very high volume, cost sensitive applications.

“With these new products, our customers will be able to easily implement 8-bit embedded applications like control processing, control communications, state machine replacement and simple user interfaces within an inexpensive PLD, and still have plenty of LUTs available to integrate additional functionality,” said Mike Kendrick, Lattice’s Director of Software Marketing.

Expanded Support for the LatticeMico8 Embedded Controller for MachXO2 Devices
The LatticeMico8 soft processor is an easy to use embedded microcontroller optimized for implementation in Lattice FPGAs and PLDs. The LatticeMico8 soft processor consumes minimal device resources (less than 200 Look Up Tables in the smallest configuration) while maintaining a broad feature set. It is ideal for implementing control processing, control communications, state machine replacement and simple user interfaces. The LatticeMico8 microcontroller is provided free of charge through an innovative open source intellectual property (IP) core license. This open source license provides developers with access to the HDL for the IP, as well as full architecture independence and portability to allow design migration to other FPGA platforms or ASICs, if desired, while protecting the user’s proprietary designs.

Users of MachXO2 devices can now generate complete systems that include version 3.2 of the LatticeMico8 open source 8-bit controller core using release 1.2 of the open source Eclipse-based LatticeMico System tool. The LatticeMico System tool creates and synchronizes system hardware and the associated software development environment. Users can define a custom system by choosing their unique set of peripherals. The software development environment is automatically tailored to this generated system and includes the associated driver code. Both hardware and software environments remain in synch even if changes are made to the system, avoiding unnecessary housekeeping by the user.

Updated Software Support for the New MachXO2 PLD Family
The Lattice Diamond design environment enables users to easily explore design alternatives as they target cost sensitive, low power, high volume applications – the type of applications ideally suited for the MachXO2 family. Lattice Diamond 1.2 software now includes updated power, timing and SSO analysis values based on the actual silicon characterization for the MachXO2 LCMXO2-1200 and LCMXO2-1200U devices.

In addition, the Reveal™ hardware debugger has been validated with the actual silicon of these MachXO2 devices. This allows customers to easily debug their designs by simply specifying which signals to observe and then using the software to automatically configure and insert the necessary debug logic. The advanced runtime features in the software offer the flexibility to dynamically define the necessary triggers to capture data for real-time analysis.

Lattice Diamond Design Flow Enhancements
Released in June 2010, Lattice Diamond software incorporated an intuitive, modern GUI that enabled several new concepts to help users quickly explore design alternatives to meet their cost, power and performance goals. The Lattice Diamond 1.2 release further builds on this approach, with several design flow enhancements. In particular, users can now tailor the flow to auto-create the reports they want to read after each process substep, and they can select predefined window layouts tuned to the most common design tasks.

Third Party Tool Support
Lattice Diamond software includes Synopsys’ Synplify Pro advanced FPGA synthesis for all operating systems supported. Aldec’s Active-HDL Lattice Edition II simulator is also included for Windows.

In addition to the tool support for Lattice devices provided by the OEM versions of Synplify Pro and Active-HDL, Lattice devices are also supported by the full versions of Synopsys Synplify Pro and Aldec Active-HDL. Mentor Graphics ModelSim SE and Precision RTL synthesis also support Lattice devices.

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