Xilinx ISE Design Suite 12.3 Introduces AMBA 4 AXI4 IP Cores, Enhances PlanAhead Design and Analysis Cockpit, Extends Power Optimization

12th October 2010
ES Admin
Xilinx announced the release of ISE Design Suite 12.3, kicking-off the FPGA leader's roll-out of Intellectual Property (IP) cores that meet the AMBA(R) 4 AXI4(TM) specification for interconnecting functional blocks in System-on-Chip (SoC) design, as well as introducing productivity enhancements to the PlanAhead(TM) Design and Analysis cockpit, and Intelligent Clock Gating support for reducing dynamic power consumption in Spartan(R)-6 FPGA designs.
Xilinx is the first to standardize on the AMBA 4 specification as part of our interconnect strategy to support Plug-and-Play FPGA design. SoC designers who have large investments in AMBA AXI3(TM) and AXI4 interface IP have good reason to use Xilinx programmable platforms compared to alternative FPGA and ASIC solutions, said Vin Ratford, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing at Xilinx. The flexibility inherent in the AXI4 interconnect enables it to be tailored for performance and area all while making it easier for customers to integrate IP from different domains and IP providers. It also enables ASIC designers to migrate pre-existing designs and IP to Xilinx FPGAs.

Xilinx's deployment of the AMBA 4 AXI4 specification means customers will have a consistent way to interconnect IP blocks while enabling better use of design resources through the use and reuse of IP, as well as easier integration across IP providers, all in support of Plug-and-Play FPGA design. In terms of core accessibility and the tools to assemble them, the release of ISE Design Suite 12.3 includes enhancements to the CORE Generator(TM) tool that accelerates design time by providing access to highly parameterized IP as well as the Xilinx Platform Studio and System Generator tools that enable designers to quickly configure their system architecture, buses and peripherals.

The increases in complexity and scale for new designs means that communication and interconnect are critical to system performance, said Michael Dimelow, director of marketing, Processor Division at ARM. The open nature of the AMBA standard delivers tremendous benefits to system designers by expanding the variety of IP available for implementation in SoC's and FPGAs, and thus accelerating time to market.

Mercury's commitment to standards and industry leverage has led us to conform to AXI4 because of its broad ecosystem support, time-to-market benefits and alignment to Xilinx's product roadmap, said Charlie Frazer, Director of Silicon IP Engineering at Mercury Computer Systems

Xilinx's adoption of the AMBA protocol also provides designers access to established ASIC verification methodologies and existing AMBA protocol-based IP, allowing designers to easily make the transition to FPGAs as their SoC platform of choice.

Cadence has long provided industry-leading AMBA verification solutions for SoC Realization, and our support of AXI4 in collaboration with Xilinx will be welcomed news for SoC designers who rely on Cadence's advanced verification IP and enterprise verification technologies to target their designs to FPGA for prototyping or production, said Michal Siwinski product management group director for System and SoC Realization at Cadence. Our collaboration with Xilinx means integrators now have bus functional models they can use with any tool suite to model and verify their designs more easily.

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