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ECE 465

Introduction to CPLDs and FPGAs

Shantanu Dutt
ECE Dept.
University of Illinois at Chicago

Acknowledgement: Extracted from lecture notes of Dr. Mohamed M.

Elkhatib, German University of Cairo and Prof. Russell Tessier, Univ. of
Massachusetts. Some modfications and additions done by Prof. Dutt.

CPLD Families

CPLD Block Diagram

1

FF

FF

0
FF

FF

FF

An individual switch
In a crossbar is a
diamond switch
O/Ps

Programmable switch
for interconnecting
various FBs

I/Ps
Crossbar Switch

Function block (~ PLA w/ 1 o/p

that can be FFed)

Extra function (e.g., g,

h) i/ps for OR term

2:1 Mux

Example function
f= ab+bc+g+h

D-FF

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)

FPGA Types

(Anti-fuse technology)

FPGA Families

SRAM-type FPGA Interconnect Architecture

Diamond
switch

Horizontal
routing
(interconnect)
channel
PSM: Programmable Switch Matrix (for
making connections between interconnects
of different channels). The structure shown
only allows i-to-i connections
Vertical
routing
channels

CLB: Configuration Logic Block

(programmable logic cell)

SRAM-type FPGA Interconnect

Architecture (contd)

Cell Connection
Matrix (CCM)

PSM

Configuration Logic Block (CLB)

5-i/p function implemented using G, F and H LUTs (Look Up Tables) using Shannons
Expansion: p(a,b,c,d,e) = a p(1, b, c, d, e) + a p(0, b, c, d, e) = a q(b,c,d,e) + ar(b,c,d,e).
q( ) impl. using LUT G, r impl. using LUT F and p=ag + ah impl. using LUT H
The LUT o/ps can go through a FF (for seq. ckt design) or bypass it for a combinational o/p
This is called technology mapping: mapping the logic to CLB logic components

Technology Mapping

Microprocessor
Software

Reconfigurable
Hardware
Firmware

ASIC
Hardware

ASIC gives high performance at cost of

inflexibility.
Processor is very flexible but not tuned to the
application.
Reconfigurable hardware is a nice
compromise.

Inputs

Look-Up
Table
(LUT)

Out

State
Clock
Enable

High-level Compilers & FPGAs

Difficult to estimate hardware resources.
Some parts of program more appropriate for
processor (hardware/software codesign).
Compiler must parallelize computation across
many resources.
Engineers like to write in C/VHDL/Verilog
rather than pushing little blocks around.
for (i = 0; i<n, i++)
{
c[i] = a[i] + b[i]
}

RTL
.
.
C = A+B
.

Array

Circuit
A
B

CAD to translate circuit from text description to

physical implementation well understood.
Most current FPGA designers use register-transfer
level specification (allocation and scheduling)
Same basic steps as ASIC design.

Circuit Compilation & Implementation:

Basic Steps

1. Technology Mapping

LUT

2. Placement

LUT

?
Assign a logical LUT to a
physical location.

3. Routing

4. Convert all implementation

details to FPGA programming
info (configuration bits): LUT
RAM bits, CCM & PSM
FF/SRAM bits, etc.

Can store config bits on disk or ROM and

Can thus use the FPGA to implement
multiple digital systems (at different times
or sometimes simultaneously in different
FPGA partitions)

Select wire
segments
and switches for

Technology Mapping: A Simple Example

A B
Co

FA

A+B = D

Ci

S
Logic synthesis tool reduces circuit to
SOP form
S = ABCi + ABCi + ABCi + ABCi
A
B
Ci

LUT

Co

A
B
Ci

Co = ABCi + ABCi + ABCi + ABCi

LUT

Processor + FPGA
Three possibilities
Proc

chip

daughtercard
FPGA

Backplane bus
(e.g. PCI)

1. FPGA serves as coprocessor for data

intensive applications possible project.

Proc

FPGA

chip

2. FPGA serves as embedded digital system

Reconfigurable Functional Unit
for lower latency processing.