Prototyping is a verification method for System-on-Chip (SOC) based on FPGA. Both FPGA and ASIC front-end code are on the basis of Verilog HDL. As a result, theoretically, ASIC code can be executed on the FPGA platform. This approach is employed to ascertain chip functionality correctness as much as possible before taping out.
Given the ongoing evolution of integrated circuits and the trend toward larger design scales, the capacity of a single FPGA board is no longer sufficient to meet design requirements, which means the FPGA prototyping platform comes into play. Compared to the single FPGA prototyping board, FPGA prototyping system is more complex at hardware architecture. Additionally, the software tools provided by FPGA chip manufacturers cannot support the intricacies of multi-FPGA implementations on this scale. Thus, specialized software tools for FPGA prototype implementation are necessary.
The FPGA prototyping system can fulfill various demands of large-scale chip design from both hardware and software perspectives. These include low-latency parallel IO interfaces, high-bandwidth SerDes interfaces, automated partitioning across multiple FPGAs with performance optimization, signal debugging across multiple FPGAs, scalable prototyping system dimensions, diverse software and hardware interface expansion solutions, and more. Such complementary software significantly enhances the entire prototyping system.
Distinct from FPGA prototyping boards suitable for manual validation of small-scale designs or the process of specific protocols, the FPGA prototyping system is more suitable for digital verification of medium to large-scale chip designs, complex algorithm validation, and high-performance system verification/debugging involving real-world peripheral hardware. It supports collaborative software and hardware debugging.
1） FPGA prototyping can demonstrate the simulation of authentic chip operation scenarios before tape out, ensuring the dependability and stability of functional modules.
2）FPGA prototyping effectively shortens time-to-market (TTM): In today's technology-driven society, products are updated quickly, while a new product introduced outside the ideal timeframe might lose its relevance, resulting in the company's investment capital going to waste. FPGAs are ready for production after the design phase, as opposed to standard cell ASICs that take more than half a year to reach production.
3）FPGA prototyping achieves functional verification while concurrently generating a range of practical chip usage scenarios for cross-validation, copying, and testing the stability of the design, which can fix bugs and change the code promptly, thus drastically reducing the development cost of the chip.
The current market FPGA prototyping is often equipped with larger capacity FPGA chips, such as Xilinx VU440/VU19P/VP1802, Intel's Stratix 10, etc. Especially S2C Prodigy S8-40 Logic Systems, which are very suitable for complex algorithms, CPU/GPU type chip verification and implementation: for example, Artificial Intelligence, multi-core RISC-V processor IP, and other development environments. If you are developing SoC chips or large-scale IP, you can use the FPGA prototyping that has been interconnected and expanded the capacity - S2C Prodigy S7-19PQ Logic System