Military Embedded Systems

FPGA starter kit provides the whole package

Product

May 19, 2010

Sharon Hess

Military Embedded Systems

Chris A. Cuifo

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

FPGA starter kit provides the whole package

FPGAs are prevalent in all sorts of military embedded applications and systems these days, and form factors such as AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA (collectively referred to as xTCA), and AdvancedMC (AMC) are increasingly following suit.

FPGAs are prevalent in all sorts of military embedded applications and systems these days, and form factors such as AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA (collectively referred to as “xTCA”), and AdvancedMC (AMC) are increasingly following suit. Thing is, how are FPGAs integrated with these historically telecom form factors? Pigeon Point Systems’ Module Management Controller (MMC) Board Management Reference (BMR) Starter Kit provides the key by rendering all firmware needed for FPGA development, with the aim of quicker deployment of AMC products. The kit also includes a benchtop management controller development board in AMC form factor style and a full SmartFusion FPGA design tucked inside a Libero Integrated Design Environment (IDE). A production license and “comprehensive documentation” round out the entire picture. And xTCA developers will be happy: Pigeon Point makes two benchtop variants of the kit: One for MicroTCA, one for AdvancedTCA.

Meanwhile, the kit’s foundational product is the SmartFusion intelligent mixed-signal FPGA product including built-in flash. What makes SmartFusion unique is its composition: an FPGA, programmable analog, plus a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3-based Microcontroller Subsystem (MSS) at 40 MHz. With the ARM processor experiencing zero load while SmartFusion renders advanced analog processing, the processor is left to execute xTCA analog sensor monitoring. Now that’s what we call efficient.

 

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