Synopsys User Group Presentation


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ASIC emulation methodology presentation to the UK Synopsys user group conference.

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Synopsys User Group Presentation

  1. 1. Andrew Gardner ASIC prototyping with Certify 12 th May2009
  2. 2. 1. Who are we? 2. Why do we prototype an ASIC? 3. A History of FPGAs in Lund and Basingstoke 4. The Process used in Lund and Basingstoke 5. Differences between ASIC and FPGA 6. ASIC partitioning example
  3. 3. Department overview <ul><li>The ASIC prototyping team in Ericsson is split between sites the UK and Sweden. </li></ul><ul><li>We have been providing ASIC-like prototype and demonstrator platforms into the organisation for over 10 years </li></ul><ul><li>We have a proven delivery track record </li></ul><ul><li>Our platform customers used the A1 FPGA prototype to make the first WCDMA (3G) calls months before ASIC samples were available. </li></ul><ul><li>The department consists of 5 engineers in Lund and 3 in Basingstoke. It is responsible for the platform hardware & firmware development as well as customer support. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why do we prototype an ASIC? <ul><li>To aid software development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software have been our main official customer for; driver dev., OS porting and architecture validation. Heavy usage by many different departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>System covers for ASIC delays and is used to validate ASIC ECO fixes up until ASIC tape-out and beyond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To support Boot and DSP ROM code development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An essential part of the verification environment especially for Boot ROM with its dependencies on system architecture and external interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We get ASIC verification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seen as &quot;for free&quot;, not a planned/controlled part of the ASIC strategy – ‘Hard to find’ bugs have been discovered on all major projects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability with IP and system using &quot;real&quot; application software Verifying new concept/system/architecture. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To aid hardware development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ITP (Industrial Test Program) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability between prototype and different hardware including mixed signal, radio and bridge ASICs </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. FPGA A1 Platform: 2001 – 2003 (Xilinx Virtex-E & Altera Apex) <ul><li>Used to prototype our first generation of Digital BaseBand ASICs </li></ul><ul><li>Used to make “real time” WCDMA and GSM calls over the air </li></ul><ul><li>Major success – “From now on, all new DBB ASIC designs should be emulated” ..EMP management (2003) </li></ul>Dual-mode radio Wide-band (FPGA WANDA) Peripherals card FPGA (one of seven) Graphics add-on Radio port Colour display FPGA prog. card UART ports
  6. 6. FPGA A2 Platform: 2004 – 2007 (Altera Stratix I & II) <ul><li>Used to prototype second generation Digital BaseBand ASICs </li></ul><ul><li>Modular platform utilising ASIC reference design hardware I/F </li></ul>
  7. 7. FPGA B500 Platform: 2007 – today (Xilinx Virtex-5) <ul><li>Used to prototype the latest Ericsson Baseband ASIC designs </li></ul><ul><li>Generic platform with access and application personality boards </li></ul>
  8. 8. Current hardware platform (early 2007) <ul><li>Largest, fastest FPGA parts </li></ul><ul><li>Key benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Stable </li></ul><ul><li>User friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Good performance </li></ul><ul><li>Robust </li></ul><ul><li>Future proof </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to support </li></ul><ul><li>Generic architecture </li></ul>
  9. 9. Hardware features <ul><li>State of the art FPGA parts for maximum capacity, performance and interconnect </li></ul><ul><li>Single main board and close component proximity to maximise performance and robustness </li></ul><ul><li>Best utilisation of I/O to maximise system partition options </li></ul><ul><li>Switched buses with fine granularity offers flexible interconnect tuning options </li></ul><ul><li>Firmware control of hardware configuration removes user error and allows complete reconfiguration as and when required </li></ul><ul><li>Additional plug-in ‘personality’ board makes generic FPGA board suitable for a wide variety of uses </li></ul><ul><li>Support FPGA containing MicroBlaze system integrated with compact flash offers a great deal of flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>On board cooling, status display, metal frame, compact flash programming and encapsulated power unit make unit robust and user friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Simple ‘personality’ hardware plug-in designed to accept existing reference design hardware </li></ul>Xilinx Virtex-5 LX330 In excess of 1000 inter-FPGA I/O available 480 I/O switchable in increments of 8 System hardware covered by high coverage boundary-scan test All clocking and switch controls managed by support FPGA Large amount of flexible I/O routed to I/F connectors, some direct, some decoupled through support FPGA Soft control functions coupled with MicroBlaze allow complete flexibility in firmware A more integrated and tidier solution compared to previous generations of hardware Existing hardware is used as much as possible
  10. 10. Key benefits <ul><li>Low staffing requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum use of verified ASIC RTL database with the aim of minimum (FPGA specific) modifications </li></ul><ul><li>Fast turn-around time for new and incremental builds due to efficient tool methodology </li></ul><ul><li>High degree of re-use from ASIC; scripting, ASIC level verification tests </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-automated scripted tool flow once project is ‘up and running’ </li></ul><ul><li>All prototype projects have been delivered functional platforms to customers well in advance of ASIC samples </li></ul>
  12. 12. Certify front-end <ul><li>Option to export to a higher performance synthesis tools such as Premier. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible implementation strategy as easy to experiment with and to optimize design partitions. </li></ul><ul><li>No need to re-simulate or to use formal verification. </li></ul><ul><li>Fast turn-around when an incremental release is required (new RTL rev.) </li></ul><ul><li>Techniques to allow logic replication, splitting of Muxes/high fan-in logic elements, register balancing. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete management of manually assisted I/O signal allocations. </li></ul><ul><li>Time budget calculation for each FPGA within the system partition. </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful design browser allowing interactive schematic expansion. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to use bottom-up and modular design approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Tool efficiently handles conversion of ASIC like gated clock structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Manual interactive partitioning of very large mixed code designs in an extremely short time compared to an RTL restructuring approach. </li></ul>
  13. 13. ARM AHB Bus Matrix Partitioning
  14. 14. ARM AHB Bus Matrix Partitioning
  15. 15. ARM AHB Bus Matrix Partitioning
  16. 16. Example wide-band modem design partition FPGA WCDMA Subsystem A H B - L i t e 52 MHz ( 104 MHz ) 52 MHz MC RAM point to point links I / O Control bus CPU / DSP MMU I / F Memory AHB IF 26 MHz P o i n t t o p o i n t 2 6 M H z Internal Clock Frequency ( 5 ) + / / / - + + 3 . 84 MHz 7 . 68 Mhz 15 . 36 MHz 52 MHz Slot counter 16 chip strobe 16 chip counter ( 104 MHz ) 26 MHz AHB IF 26 MHz AHB IF 26 MHz All WCDMA interrupts 2 6 M H z XXXXXX XXXXXX 26 MHz XXXXXX Rx - stage 1 XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXX 52 MHz 15 . 36 MHz XX RAM XXXXXX 15 . 36 MHz 3 . 84 MHz XXXXXX 15 . 36 MHz Path Searcher 1 PS RAM 104 MHz 15 . 36 MHz XXXXXX XX RAM 15 . 36 MHz 7 . 68 MHz 3 . 84 MHz XXXXXX XX RAM 15 . 36 MHz XXXXXX 15 . 36 MHz XXXXXX 1 - XXXXXX XXXXXX 15 . 36 MHz 3 . 84 MHz XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXX RAM XXX RAM XXX RAM M M U 52 MHz Slot counter 16 chip strobe 16 chip counter & 8 bits I & Q XXXXXX XXXXXX 15 . 36 MHz 8 bits I & Q , 0 1 16 bits x 2 RSSI XXXXXX 26 MHz XXXXXX XXXXXX XX RAM 16 16 To DIGRF 32 , 2 32 , 2 AHB Bus Matrix 52 MHz Memory with retention Proprietary bus WSS Sub - block s XXXXXX 26 MHz 7 . 68 MHz XXXXXX 26 MHz 7 . 68 MHz XXXXXX 7 . 68 MHz XXXXXX 26 MHz 1 & & IOs TX 32 (+ 3 to DIIGRF ) XXXXXX 26 MHz 15 . 36 MHz 52 MHz 15 . 36 MHz To DIGRF XX RAM 15 . 36 MHz ( 208 MHz ) 52 MHz Dual interface 7 . 68 MHz FIFO ahb 26 to ahb 52 26 MHz 26 MHz 52 MHz 26 MHz 52 MHz 52 MHz 52 MHz 26 MHz 26 MHz FPGA specific FPGA D 3000 Ahb 26 to ahb 52 26 to 52 bridge Wb _ memory _ controller _ bridge _ rec _ play 26 to 52 bridge _ _ _ Wb _ memory _ controller _ bridge _ tx _ stage _ 3 26 to 52 bridge FPGA D2000 D 3000 D 2000 26 MHz 52 MHz 52 MHz 52 MHz ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) mm _ ahb _ 26 to 52 _ bridge ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 1 0 4 M H z ) ( 104 MHz ) 52 MHz ( 104 MHz ) _ _ ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) Psearch 0 _ ahb _ 26 to 52 _ bridge ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 208 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 208 MHz ) ( 52 MHz ) 26 MHz 52 MHz ( 104 MHz ) ( 104 MHz ) ( 1 0 4 M H z ) ( 104 MHz ) ahb 26 to ahb 52 ahb 26 to ahb 52 Strobe width comp . tx 3 _ strb _ width _ comp 3 R E M O V E D H assium _ prototype _ WCDMA _ _ _ / - Doc respons / Approved Product name Rev Date Prepared Reference Document no Sheet - 1 - FPGA D3000
  17. 17. Timescales and resources (FPGA firmware only) <ul><li>Kylie ASIC: 1 engineer - 6 months (also providing customer support) </li></ul><ul><li>First Firmware release to core Software teams after 7 weeks based on stable RTL. ~20 weeks before first ASIC samples are available . </li></ul><ul><li>Core Software team achieve OS boot within 4 weeks of initial firmware delivery. ~16 weeks before first ASIC samples are available . </li></ul><ul><li>ASIC samples arrive and within 4 hours are up and running using both the FPGA test environment and real software. </li></ul>
  18. 18. 5. Differences between ASIC and FPGA
  19. 19. Differences between ASIC and FPGA <ul><li>We endeavour to replicate the functionality of the ASIC but usually have to compromise in the following areas… </li></ul><ul><li>Speed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depending on the application, speed may or may not be an issue. Analyse customer requirements, use fast parts, request that designs meet required performance in FPGA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Memories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Memories are usually ASIC specific and must be ported to FPGA types. All FPGA specific memories must be validated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High performance external interfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Such interfaces (e.g. DDR EMIF) contain complex front-end logic to maintain timing alignment. When running at reduced rates on FPGA this logic can be simplified to ease implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Processor choice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Soft’ implementations can be virtually identical to ASIC albeit operating at reduced frequency. External test chip type processors may differ in; clocking, reset, functionality, memory sizes and may be prone to bugs as they are often poorly verified by the vendor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test logic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test logic structures are always tied off in an inactive state and subsequently optimized away by the tool flow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clocking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clock control structures may be simplified to ease porting to FPGA. It is not uncommon for a flexible multi-frequency strobe type ASIC structure to be replaced with a fixed frequency PLL based arrangement for FPGA. Also clock multiplex structures are usually removed due to their fundamental incompatibility with FPGA architectures </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Differences between ASIC and FPGA (cont.) <ul><li>‘ Real time’ builds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Real time’ prototypes may be re-engineered in several areas where maximum performance is required. These changes may entail speed matching I/Fs and block modifications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special ASIC functions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analogue functions are replaced with FPGA equivalents or external devices. Examples include; Phase locked loop components which are usually substituted with FPGA clock resource parts. A/D and D/A converters and high performance external interface components (i.e. DigRF/MiPi) are usually supported by the use of custom test chips </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Power domain functions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASIC power domain functionality cannot be emulated in a meaningful manner on the FPGA . However, equivalent structures are kept to preserve system latencies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BOOT/DSP ROMs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To enhance the user friendliness of the platform ROMs for boot and DSP functions may be converted to pre-initialized RAM parts which behave as ROMs but can be re-defined by the user if required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>System control clock request functions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clock request functionality may be removed in builds where lack of inter-FPGA interconnect becomes an issue. The primary function for clock request functionality is power conservation and rarely used in the prototype </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I/O multiplexing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASIC I/O multiplexing can be removed if not requested by the customers </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. THANK YOU - Questions?