Development Environment

Our development environment heavily utilizes OpenSource and third party commercial software brought together in a cohesive package. Instead of locking your work product to Faster Technology hardware by developing a proprietary software framework we chose to offer an accessible software system utilizing tools already available as individual components. The resultant product is a development suite that greatly simplifies the total design process.

Xilinx EDK

Faster Technology uses the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit in conjunction with our CoreSensor(tm) technology to provide a quick and easy way to rapidly create systems to solve your most demanding problems by utilizing a library of FPGA building blocks. EDK and CoreSensor provide a robust integration environment to assemble and generate your FPGA in an easy to use IDE environment.

Xilinx EDK Extensions

Tight integration of our CoreSensorTM technology with the Xilinx EDK environment enables the rapid creation of complete solutions. We have provided a solid infrastructure and many reference designs to provide a firm foundation for the rapid reuse of design cores. With the IO and common processing options already in place, the CoreSensorTM environment allows you to focus on creating the solution to your task at hand in an environment that is easy to reuse by others in your community.

ImpulseC CoDeveloper

CoDeveloper is a C to HDL compiler system built around the concept of abstracting low level protocols into higher level software concepts such as streams and memory buffers. C Programmers can implement their algorithms as self contained CoDeveloper projects and use the CoDeveloper IDE to debug and test the algorithms completely within a software context. When satisfied with the software test results the next step is HDL generation. Faster Technology has developed the low level support interfaces to integrate CoDeveloper product directly into larger system designs utilizing Faster Technology hardware.

Embedded Linux

In our supplied reference designs, an embedded Linux kernel serves as the system level management tool providing runtime control of the instantiated hardware components. We supply a fully functioning Linux kernel compiled to run on one of the embedded PowerPCs in the FPGAs on our hardware. Linux coupled with the power of CoreSensorTM Technology provides system designers a quick and easy way to control the hardware instantiated within the FPGA.

Message Passing Daemon

Command and control of a dynamic system is a difficult task. We have developed a simple daemon that acts as a broker between host side processes talking to the hardware and the embedded Linux processes controlling the hardware components. The message system does not impose any protocol restrictions on the messages and allows for the abstraction of the host side interface for easy expansion and reconfiguration.

ELF Tool Chain

The ELF tool chain is a GCC based OpenSource cross-compiler toolkit for compiling applications that run on the PowerPC under the control of the supplied embedded Linux kernel.

Embedded Linux Driver Templates

CoreSensorTM Technology allows most customer developed cores to use the embedded Linux kernel driver we supply to connect their hardware to the Linux userland environment. For the few cases where custom drivers are required we provide embedded Linux driver templates that our customers can use to kick start this phase of the development cycle. These drivers supply example code for handling register manipulation and interrupt handling as well as DMA management into and out of core hardware.

Host Side Drivers

Normally an FPGA based processing card would require a new host side driver each time it was reconfigured to perform a different function. Our supplied drivers abstract the hardware keeping the drivers simple and flexible. Making heavy use of the message passing interface the host side drivers responsibilities have been reduced to a manageable set of core functions that remain constant across all designs implemented by the customer.

Host Side API Libraries

Faster Technology provides software libraries in C, C++, Java, FORTRAN, and Python designed to simplify the host side interface to the lower level hardware access routines.

DSP Building Blocks

Faster Technology provides an extensive DSP toolkit comprising of commonly used DSP building blocks such as resamplers, digital down converters, FFT engines, and demodulators. These tools come under a no-fee license allowing customers to use and reuse these cores in an unlimited fashion on Faster Technology hardware. Based on a methodology of reuse each core is heavily parametrized to expand or shrink based on the throughput and space needs of your projects.

Infrastructure Building Blocks

Under the same licensing options as our DSP building blocks we supply a suite of cores designed to tie the hardware interfaces to the FPGA fabric. These cores include a DDR2 interface, Gigabit Ethernet offload engine, PCI interface, and many more.