Modular development platform supports prototyping of SH-4 based SoCs
September 18, 2003 - SuperH, Inc., the leading supplier of multimedia RISC CPU cores, has today announced the availability of SH-4 based MicroDev platforms to support both the existing SH4-FPU family and the new SH4-MPU family also being disclosed today.
The MicroDev platform is a modular platform comprising common System and FPGA boards together with CPU specific plug-in boards that can address the needs of both application software developers and SoC designers.
The SH-4 CPU board can be used to develop code for both the integer SH4-MPU and, by switching on the FPU, can be used for SH4-FPU development. The CPU board exploits the SuperHyway Off Chip (SHOC) port that exposes the internal SuperHyway bus on the SH4 evaluation chip. The SHOC port is connected to one of Altera's Stratix family of FPGAs where licensees can use the high uncommitted gate capacity to prototype peripheral IP before committing to silicon. By using the SHOC port the same protocols can be used in prototype and production. This unique methodology has been designed to deliver right-first-time silicon and enable users to optimize their SoC by prototyping IP and running extensive application benchmarks. The SHOC port is supported with the 'SoC Evaluation Design Kit' (SEDK) that enables licensees to model their SoC in a SystemC environment. The SEDK also includes the 'SuperHyway Design Kit' that enables licensees to develop and model high performance SoC products designed around the SuperHyway on-chip interconnect.
Jon Frosdick, Director of Software at SuperH, Inc. commented "The MicroDev platform was specified with input from our licensees and partners. The modular design delivers extremely low cost of ownership through hardware re-use and software compatibility across our range of CPU cores."
SuperH partnered with Logic Product Development, one of the largest fully integrated product development consulting firms in the USA, to design the MicroDev SoC platform. "The modular approach to the MicroDev allows the CPU board to be used solo for OS and middleware / algorithm porting, the combination of the CPU and System board to be used for adding any of the multitude of PCI card based peripherals and the corresponding driver development, and the combination of the CPU and FPGA or all three boards for system prototyping of SuperH based systems," said Jason Sheard, Director of Electrical Engineering at Logic Product Development. "Additionally, the development system can scale to meet the needs of IP developers by allowing up to 4 stacked FPGA boards, each with an FPGA with greater than 40k logic elements. This flexibility results in a product development cycle with less time, less cost, less risk, and more innovation."
SuperH supports the MicroDev platform with an extensive range of software tools packaged in the 'Architecture Evaluation Design Kit' (AEDK) which includes a compiler, debugger, linker and libraries derived from the open-source GNU technologies and integrated with SuperH's simulation technologies. SuperH also supports the option of using the open-source Linux OS that is supported by Timesys as announced in April 2003.
In addition SuperH will be supplying the RedBoot Open Source bootstrap environment with the MicroDev platform. RedBoot is a highly portable, open source download and debug environment which is integrated with the SuperH Development Tools enabling developers to seamlessly download and execute software on the MicroDev Platform. The RedBoot firmware is being developed and supplied to SuperH by eCosCentric (www.ecoscentric.com) who are also supporting the MicroDev with their eCosPro Developer's Kit. eCosCentric Managing Director Alex Schuilenberg commented "RedBoot provides standardized firmware for the MicroDev platform that integrates the software and SoC development flows".
The SH-4 CPU board (Part number: cpu-sh4202) contains an SH-4 CPU with 16K bytes of instruction cache, 32K bytes of data cache, timers, UART and a debug port. It is available now and pricing for the 'cpu-sh4202' is $2,995 in one-off quantities. The FPGA board is available with either 40k or 60k Stratix FPGA devices and the 40K version (Part number: microdev_fpga40) costs $4995.
Pictures of the boards can be downloaded from http://www.superh.com/image_library/image_library.htm
MicroDev System board comprises:
- ATX form factor, I/O includes serial, parallel ports, GPIO, IrDA, PS/2 keyboard and mouse. IDE interface, 2 USB ports, 4 PCI 2.2 slots, 33MHz, 32-bits. On-board VGA graphics and stereo audio in/out, 1 PCMCIA slot.
MicroDev FPGA board comprises:
- Uncommitted Altera Stratix FPGA dedicated for customer IP (>40k Logic Elements). Connector for customer specified expansion board. Stackable up to 4 FPGA boards. SuperHyway Off-Chip connector for transparent prototyping of final SoC.
MicroDev CPU board comprises:
- SH-4 or SH-5 CPU, JTAG and debug ports, 128Mbytes SDRAM, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, serial port, 32Mbytes Flash memory.
More details on the MicroDev platform can be found at http://www.superh.com/products/microdev.htm
- The SuperHyway Bus is an on-chip interconnect system that comprises a set of tools and licensable IP that enables a developer to build efficient, high performance SoC products. SuperH deliver the tools as an optional package within the SoC Evaluation Design Kit (SEDK).
- The SuperHyway is VSIA 2.1 Compliant™. For more details please visit www.vsia.org
- For more details on SuperHyway please visit http://www.superh.com/products/shyway.htm