Altium is releasing an FPGA design product range exploiting its “LiveDesign” hands-on hardware and software environment that is claimed to allow “on-the-fly” PC-based development and implementation of real, physical circuits, including “soft” processor cores. The LiveDesign environment is also said to minimise the need for simulation at the system level and enables the development of complete embedded systems on an FPGA without need for HDL-based entry.
The range includes “Nexar”, which is described as a vendor-independent, system-level FPGA design platform that enables faster implementation, testing and debugging of digital designs. This is achieved through a combination of FPGA-targeted virtual instruments that are incorporated at the schematic level, JTAG communications technology, and the use of Altium’s “NanoBoard” development board product.
This is joined by the “Protel 2004” product that is said to be a complete board-level design system that works natively with the Nexar product. It is also claimed to support the integration of PCB designs with FPGA projects by integrating Altium’s NanoBoard and a set of FPGA-based virtual instruments. This is said to enable users to perform fast, interactive implementation and debugging of FPGA-based designs.
“CircuitStudio 2004” is a universal front-end design system for board level and FPGA design, incorporated into Nexar and Protel 2004. It features hierarchical schematic captures, mixed-mode simulation, VHDL simulation, and pre-layout signal integrity capabilities. “CAMtastic 2004” is a PCB CAM tool has been updated to provide seamless integration with Altium’s board-level and PCB design tools.