A new FPGA USB module promises to cut months off
engineering, prototyping and verification of "logic-heavy" electronic development
the XEM3050, the new credit-card-sized
module is targeted device-to-computer integration of such applications as image
capture and signal processing, data acquisition, advanced global positioning
systems (GPS), LIDAR 3D cameras and mobile phone displays.
at Opal Kelly, designers of the new
module, say it simplifies product development through the use of software
which eliminates the details involved in USB design work. "The difficulty in
building a USB solution is primarily one of software," notes Jake Janovetz,
founder and president of Opal Kelly. "In most complicated USB designs, one
needs to develop drivers and build some kind of link to the hardware. We've
tried to mitigate all that design effort."
the FrontPanel software, the XEM3050 module includes HDL simulation models for
multiple platforms and Application Programming Interfaces (API) for several
languages. It's based on Xilinx's
four-million-gate Spartan-3 FPGA (field programmable gate array) and
high-speed USB 2.0 protocols.
says that the module is currently being used to develop a GPS receiver that
will be implemented as an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) in an
OEM product. With the XEM3050, the company's engineers say they can run
simulations faster than real time, and have therefore dramatically reduced the
amount of time required for design verification. The company's engineers say
that the module is able to do 20 minutes of verification in 13 minutes,
compared to 40 hours using a high-end simulator.
benefits to this are time and cost," Janovetz says. "And when you're talking
low run production - tens or hundreds of units - that's where it really