International Conference on Advances in Computer, Electronics and Electrical Engineering - CEEE 2013
Author(s) : P. K. GIAIKWAD
The present research paper depicts a technique to debug FPGA based systems by merely viewing internal signals pertaining to real time processes. There are established techniques prevailing in this domain based on Logic Analyzer that facilitates display of 16 to 32 simultaneous signals. However, the main bottleneck comes when monitoring of the internal signals of reconfigurable devices like Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is concerned; especially when it is not practically possible to bring them out at I/O pins for the purpose of monitoring. Through the present paper author showcases an EDA tool, ChipScope-Pro from Xilinx Inc., for viewing signals inside the FPGA. For that, a prototype of data acquisition system has been technologically advanced using serial Analogue to Digital Convertor (ADC) and different Soft Intellectual Property (IP) Cores developed in Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language (VHDL) and implemented in the Xilinx FPGA. A physical parameter, humidity was observed on computer screen using the Logic Analyzer of Xilinx Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tool ChipScope; instead of producing its digital equivalent signals on I/O pads of the FPGA. A top level module was developed by instantiating three VHDL cores: Integrated Controller (ICON), Integrated Logic Analyzer (ILA), and a Soft IP core driving a 12 bit serial ADC. The interface between FPGA internal signals and ChipScope was accomplished using the Xilinx Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) cable and the FPGA Virtex-5 board.