New dev kit for user development of unallocated FPGA resources

05-08-2021 | Abaco Systems | Development Boards

Abaco Systems now offers the Hardware Development Kit (HDK), a tool enabling users to develop unallocated Xilinx FPGA resources on Abaco boards. The HDK employs specific features in the new Xilinx Vivado ML Editions tool suite, which allow users to implement custom IP while maintaining the overall integrity of the Abaco IP.

Building on the capability of the Xilinx Dynamic Function eXchange (DFX) feature, the company developed a static design composed of their proprietary IP while making room in the FPGA for a dynamically programmable region for their user’s custom designs. Throughout the development process, Abstract Shells are employed to only compile the dynamic region, therefore, quickening compile times and protecting its IP. At runtime, DFX is utilised to swap designs in and out of the dynamic region. The HDK comprises a static partition bitstream, Vivado ML reprogrammable partition example design, and build scripts for implementing the abstraction layer interfaces.

“Xilinx worked closely with Abaco as they developed their Hardware Development Kit,” said Ramine Roane, vice president of marketing, Software and AI Solutions at Xilinx. “Abaco greatly benefited from the Dynamic Function eXchange, and Abstract Shells flows with Vivado ML. DFX enables them to quickly adapt to their customer requests, loading new hardware functions on demand. Abstract Shells also safeguards the Abaco IP while speeding up compile times during hardware development.”

Pete Thompson, vice president of product management for Abaco Systems, said, “As a leader in rugged embedded high performance, high durability computing sub-systems, Abaco’s release of the Hardware Development Kit is a continuation of our vision to deploy more tools that will ease customer integration into the overall system. Allowing our developer customers to use these resources without concern of corrupting the IP in the static partition provides the opportunity to re-use previously licensed IP in that static partition without the cost or administration of re-licensing, further saving time and reducing costs on complex projects.”

By Natasha Shek