Modular System-on-Chip Platform uses Open Source 32-bit CPU Core and Open Source Embedded Linux Software Powerful, open source and proven building blocks form SoC foundation for many Internet products
Grenoble, France, Design-Reuse conference– December 15, 2000 – Metaflow Technologies Inc., a vertical value-add VLSI design company located in La Jolla, CA (www.metaflow.com), has introduced Implosion, a system on chip (SoC) design platform that uses Open Source IP for its key hardware and software components.
"The Linux phenomenon has proven that Open Source is an effective way for producing world-class IP, and has created legitimate business models for commercial companies adding value around this IP", says Cosma Pabouctsidis, Metaflow's Marketing Director, "The same is now happening with hardware IP and Metaflow intends to be at the forefront of this revolution as it applies to Systems on Chip".
Built around the open AMBA® bus architecture, Metaflow's Implosion platform comprises foundation and application specific components that are pre-assembled and verified, thus shortening time to market and lowering costs. The platform can be customized by Metaflow to produce a full custom IC that meet specific needs by adding or removing validated application-specific components or by adding third party or full-custom blocks.
Implosion is powered by the Leon-1 CPU core: a 32-bit RISC processor core whose VHDL source code is freely available on the Internet. The Leon-1 is modeled after the architecture and Instruction Set of the IEEE 1754 standard (IEEE 1754 is a standard spearheaded by Sparc International and inspired by the Sparc® V8 architecture). The core features a five-stage pipeline for operation at speeds in excess of 125MHz, 8 register windows, a coprocessor extension bus, a separate data and instruction cache, and an AMBA bus interface. The Leon-1 core was developped by the European Space Agency and its VHDL source code is distributed under the GNU LGPL license (Lesser General Public License). Links to the source code, software and other developer's resources can be found at www.leoncenter.com.
Metaflow offers a range of value added services around this core, from custom architectural enhancement, to physical implementations optimized for security, speed, and/or low power consumption.
The Leon core may be substituted in the Implosion platform with any other AMBA compliant embedded CPUs.
In addition to the core, the foundation components of the Implosion platform include two 10/100 Ethernet media access controllers (MAC) with DMA, a line-speed DES/3DES data encryption engine, on-chip SRAM, and an SDRAM and Flash controller for external Memory. The dual-Ethernet architecture allows Implosion-based devices to perform simple IP routing and switching function. Other foundation blocks include a UART, general-purpose timers, watchdog timer, interrupt controller, and multichannel DMA controller.
Among the wired and portable products that can be built on the Implosion platform are Web-browsing appliances, e-mail stations, home servers and gateways, Internet music and video distribution devices, as well as equipment for Internet telephony.
Metaflow supports the Leon-based Implosion platform with a complete suite of Open-Source software, including a GNU C/C++ compiler, C libraries, GDB debugger with graphical front-end, and a full featured RTOS with TCP/IP stack. The platform also runs the embedded Linux Operating System with drivers available for all foundation components. Other commercial software tools and operating systems for the Sparc processor can be made to work on the platform.
Implosion's optional application-specific components include USB host controller, USB device controller, and a color LCD controller with programmable resolution from quarter-VGA (320 x 200 pixels) to XGA (1024 x 768 pixels). Other components are available from an extensive third-party IP catalog, or can be custom-designed by Metaflow.
Optional digital signal processing (DSP) extensions are also available to boost performance in multimedia and advanced communication algorithms.
Metaflow supports Implosion with an FPGA based prototyping and emulation board that can be used to evaluate the Leon core, validate custom Systems on Chip and serve as a near real-time software development platform. Once an Implosion-based design is validated, Metaflow's VLSI team will design the chip and bring it to manufacturing at Metaflow's foundry partners, or at customer's designated fab.
The Implosion platform and all its components are available now.
Metaflow Technologies, Inc. is a vertical value added VLSI design company that specializes in System on Chip (SoC) integration based on Industry Standards, leading 3rd party IP vendors and Open Source hardware and software IP from leading consortiums and institutions. Metaflow also offers various VLSI design service from Logic Design, Custom Memory Design, High Performance Circuit Design, and Layout work for any VLSI CMOS process technology.
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