Rapid C to FPGA prototyping with multithreaded emulation engine

Shin Kai Chen*, Bing Shiun Wang, Tay Jyi Lin, Chih-Wei Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


FPGA prototyping is preferred over software simulations for its more convincing & realistic behaviours and fast simulation time. However, it is usually possible after the RTL design is done, which prevents extensive design space exploration. This paper describes an early-stage FPGA prototyping flow, which starts from C sources, through hardware/software partitioning with transaction-level modelling (TLM), to the RTL design. We also propose a FPGA-customized multithreaded emulation engine for TLM prototyping. Compared with the OpenRISC core, the proposed engine saves 43.08% datapath complexity while improving the operating frequency by 60.67%. Moreover, our FPGA prototype for JPEG at TLM can compress 37.16 color QCIF frames per second, which is 4.5X faster than SystemC simulation on a 3GHz Pentium D PC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4252658
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2007
Event2007 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2007 - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: 27 May 200730 May 2007

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