Documentation

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Title Description Version Released Date Document File
2018 Ushers in a Renewed Push to the Edge (WP012)

The past decade has seen massive growth in centralized computing, with data processing flowing to the cloud to take advantage of low-cost dedicated data centers. It was a trend that seemed at odds with the general trend in computing — a trend that started with the mainframe but moved progressively towards ambient intelligence and the internet of things (IoT). As we move into 2018, this centralization is reaching its limit. The volume of data that will be needed to drive the next wave of applications is beginning to force a change in direction.

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The Ideal Solution for AI Applications — Speedcore eFPGAs (WP011)

AI requires a careful balance of datapath performance, memory latency, and throughput that requires an approach based on pulling as much of the functionality as possible into an ASIC or SoC. But that single-chip device needs plasticity to be able to handle the changes in structure that are inevitable in machine-learning projects. Adding eFPGA technology provides the mixture of flexibility and support for custom logic that the market requires. Achronix provides not only the building blocks required for an AI-ready eFPGA solution, but also delivers a framework that supports design through to debug and test of the final application. Only Achronix Speedcore IP has the right mix of features for advanced AI that will support a new generation of real-time, self-learning systems.

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Enhancing eFPGA Functionality with Speedcore Custom Blocks (WP009)

Achronix Speedcore™ eFPGA IP can be integrated in an SoC for high-performance, compute-intensive and realtime processing applications such as AI, automotive sensor fusion, network acceleration and wireless 5G. Speedcore eFPGA IP is a game-changer for SoC developers, allowing them to add flexibility to their products by including FPGA technology in their ASICs. For SoC development, companies specify the quantity and mix of lookup-table (LUT) logic, embedded memory blocks, and DSP blocks that best meets their needs. Along with these functions, Achronix now offers the ability for companies to define custom block functions, optimized for their application, that can also be included in the eFPGA fabric. Speedcore custom blocks increase die area efficiency, increase performance and lower power.

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Evaluating Speedcore IP For Your ASIC (WP007)

Phase zero is the beginning of a Speedcore design and how you begin matters. From a technical perspective, you will want to explore the possibilities to maximize the benefit of having your ASIC deployed with a Speedcore instance with a mix of resources well suited to your current and future programmed configurations. Achronix will help you along this road, providing support, training and feedback in employing tools, benchmarking designs and dealing with optimization issues.

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EFPGA Acceleration in SoCs — Understanding the Speedcore IP Design Process (WP008)

The Speedcore design and integration methodology has been defined with intimate awareness of the difficulties ASIC engineering teams must contend with. All the necessary files and flows for capturing the functional, timing and power characteristics of a user-defined and programmed Speedcore instance, along with support for successfully reconfiguring an already field-deployed Speedcore IP embedded in an ASIC, are available to an ASIC development team either as products of the ACE design tools or as deliverables provided by Achronix. This methodology has already been proven in silicon and readily accommodates variations and preferences in company-specific ASIC development methodologies.

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Title Description Version Released Date Document File
Pipelining the CPU Interface (AN016)

A Speedcore instance hosted in an SoC supports three different configuration modes: CPU, serial flash and JTAG. In CPU mode, an external CPU acts as the master and controls the programming operations for the Speedcore eFPGA, and offers a high-speed method for loading configuration data.

1.0 Pipelining_the_CPU_Interface_AN016.pdf
Repeatability in ACE (AN012)

One of the desired requirements of any FPGA design tool is the ability to reproduce the exact same results every time the tool is run under the same conditions — a requirement refereed to as repeatability. The ACE placer and router are deterministic, delivering 100% repeatability.

1.2 Repeatability_in_ACE_AN012.pdf
Clock Design Planning for Speedcore eFPGAs (AN011)

Speedcore eFPGAs have a robust clocking architecture. While some designs only use a single main clock, others can have complicated clocking schemes. It is important for designers to understand the different types of clocks available in the Speedcore architecture, and how to get the best design out of the clocking resources available.

1.0 Clock_Design_Planning_for_Speedcore_eFPGAs_AN011.pdf
Coding Guidelines for Speedcore eFPGAs (AN003)

In order to obtain the best quality of results (QoR) when targeting any design to an FPGA, it is sometimes necessary to structure the RTL and constraints to take best advantage of the underlying FPGA architecture and the built-in features of the tool chain.

2.0 Coding_Guidelines_for_Speedcore_eFPGAs_AN003.pdf
Routing Reset Signals on Speedcore eFPGAs (AN007)

In FPGA design, reset signals can sometimes have a significant effect on the overall quality of timing or routing results. Generally it is recommended to reduce the number of logic elements that need to be reset by taking advantage of initial values and coding in such a way that reset is only needed on a few end points.

1.2 Routing_Reset_Signals_on_Speedcore_eFPGAs_AN007.pdf
Title Description Version Released Date Document File
Speedster7t Power Estimator User Guide (UG093)

The Achronix Speedster7t Power Estimator tool provides a platform to calculate the power requirements for the Achronix 7nm standalone FPGAs. This user guide gives a detailed overview of the thermal and power needs depending on the device, environment and utilization of components in the design. The power estimator tool can be used at any stage of the design process to obtain an estimate of the total power dissipation from the device. This estimate could then be compared with post-implementation results using the ACE-generated power report.

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Simulation User Guide (UG072)

The Achronix tool suite includes synthesis and place-and-route software that maps RTL designs (VHDL or Verilog) into Achronix devices. In addition to synthesis and place-and-route functions, the Achronix software tools flow also supports simulation at several flow steps (RTL, Synthesized Netlist, and Post Place-And-Routed Netlist). This guide covers the simulation flow for Achronix devices.

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Speedster7t DDR User Guide (UG096)

The Achronix Speedster7t FPGA family provides DDR subsystems that enable the user to fully utilize the low latency and high-bandwidth efficiency of these interfaces for critical applications such as high-performance compute and machine learning systems. The DDR subsystem supports memory devices and features compliant with JEDEC Standard JESD79-4B.

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Speedster7t Configuration User Guide (UG094)

At startup, Speedster7t FPGAs require configuration by the end user via a bitstream. This bitstream can be programmed through one of four available interfaces in the FPGA configuration unit (FCU), which is logic that controls the configuration process of the Speedster7t FPGA.

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Speedster7t Machine Learning Processing User Guide (UG088)

The machine learning processing block (MLP) is an array of up to 32 multipliers, followed by an adder tree, an accumulator, and a rounding/saturation/normalize block.The MLP also includes two memory blocks, a BRAM72k and LRAM2k, that can be used individually or in conjunction with the array of multipliers. The number of multipliers available varies with the bit width of each operand and the total width of input data. When the MLP is used in conjunction with a BRAM72k, the amount of data inputs to the MLP block increases along with the number of multipliers available. 

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