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Agilent Technologies introduces Firmware Development Kit

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Agilent Technologies has introduced a complete Firmware Development Kit (FDK) that simplifies application development on and expands the capabilities of the embedded FPGA of the streamer analysers and signal analysers developed by Acqiris, a company that Agilent acquired in December 2006.

When combined with Acqiris analyser software, the FDK base design can function as a capabilities demonstrator and hardware diagnostic tool. The software driver allows for register and memory access through the local bus interface using a single function.

Designed to simplify the use of the Acqiris Virtex II Pro VP70 FPGA, the FDK also provides VHDL controllers for all on-board addressable resources.

These include the MAC100 Acqiris memory and acquisition controller for data entry, a local bus interface, the DDR SDRAM and dual port SRAM memory controllers, and the front panel I/O controls interface. In addition, a serial front Panel Data Port (sFPDP) VHDl controller is available for the on-board optical data links on the SC240/210.

The FDK includes a base design for the development of new applications. Combined with Acqiris analyser software, the base design can function as a capabilities demonstrator and hardware diagnostic tool. The software driver allows for register and memory access through the local bus interface using a single function.

In addition, the FDK design flow supports the major EDA tools from Mentor and Xilinx. A complete test bench comes with text scripts for automated test with ModelSim. Other features include a bit file header insertion with Acqiris' FPGALook software as well as JTAG support for Xilinx ChipScope Pro (integrated logic analyzer) and PowerPC 405 processor emulation.

The FDK is delivered as VHDL source code along with an FDK reference manual that includes all information for FPGA firmware development and FPGA software control.

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