A recent press release related to the all-programmable initiative from Xilinx attracted my attention a few weeks back.
Essentially, the initiative showcases Xilinx's effort in abstracting system-level (hardware and software) design flows -- from algorithm to RTL development under one umbrella. With a closed and finite IP ecosystem based around FPGAs, it is now easy for FPGA companies to develop seamless and push-button flows that integrate hardware and software design. So, what about non-FPGA players? What kind of flow integration and abstractions can they shoot for?
Abstractions have become essential in almost all disciplines of engineering, and our EDA/IC industry is no different. With product engineering becoming complex, multi-disciplinary, and requiring short TTM (time to market), there is a need to manage and hide complexity at each delivery point. Or, on a lighter note, when complexity outstrips the understanding of a single human brain, there is a need for abstraction. The consumer of an abstraction is concerned only with the exposed interface's usability and performance.
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