Writings on high-performance digital design by Jeff Johnson, maker of the Ethernet FMC and other FPGA solutions.

QuickPlay reinvents FPGA design

Since their invention, FPGAs have been burdened by a problem that has held them back from more widespread adoption: they’re too hard to program. Xilinx knows this, which is why they spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the Vivado Design Suite and more importantly Vivado HLS (high-level synthesis) which enables high-performance hardware designs to be programmed in C/C++. Well a new company called QuickPlay has created their own solution to this problem. They claim to have created a development platform (including hardware and software) that enables developers to create FPGA based designs with almost no FPGA knowledge or experience. They’ve created a development environment with a high-level of abstraction, allowing FPGA designs to be developed in C/C++, while also supporting Xilinx and Altera FPGAs, and multiple board and IP vendors.

quickplay_flow

If you solve the problem of programming FPGAs and allow them to be exploited by the masses of C/C++ coders in the world, I guarantee that FPGAs will swamp the data centers and replace a sizable portion of the x86 processor based servers in the world. If FPGAs were easier to program, most web-based services would be running on a server with an embedded FPGA accelerator, if not running entirely on an FPGA based server. In that kind of a world, we’d have faster web-services and more power efficient data centers.

Jeff holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sydney, and has more than a decade of experience in electronic and FPGA design. He has worked for design houses in Australia and Canada developing electronic products for a wide range of industries and markets. Jeff now works as an electronic design consultant and offers electronic and FPGA design services through his company Opsero.

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Recent posts

QuickPlay reinvents FPGA design

Since their invention, FPGAs have been burdened by a problem that has held them back from more widespread adoption: they’re too hard to program. Xilinx knows this, which is why they spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the Vivado Design Suite and...
PicoZed Unboxing

PicoZed Unboxing

I recently got myself a PicoZed 7Z030 SoM (system-on-module) so that I could start developing more resource intensive applications for the Ethernet FMC, such as network tapping and network latency measurement. Why would I use a SoM for this? Checkout my comparison of...
ARTY: The $99 Artix-7 FPGA eval kit

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Back in black

Back in black

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Using Chipscope and SDK at the same time

Today I was having problems debugging a design in Chipscope and SDK. For some reason, every time I used the Chipscope trigger (either the armed trigger or immediate) the Microblaze would reset or jump to another part of the code. I figured that Chipscope was messing...

 

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