FPGA-HAMMER (March 2012)
Last updated at 1:24 pm UTC on 12 April 2012
FPGA-HAMMER is a tool for rapid creation of FPGA designs. Currently targeting Xilinx chips, it is in still in early stages of development.
FPGA-HAMMER is designed for fast, browser-based bottom-up prototyping of a circuit starting with the low-level primitives available on the FPGA - such as LUTs, IOBs, RAMs etc. By combining these into parametrized modules, you can build larger and larger blocks (and specify relative placement) until the final one implements your final design.
FPGA-HAMMER also addresses code reuse by allowing multiple implementations of the same design, targeting different boards (by parametrizing I/O pins) and devices (by speciating low-level modules and keeping higher-level modules generic).
Currently, the system generates an placed (but not routed) xdl description of the circuit that is routed with Xilinx tools. It shouldn't be too hard to write a router for the system. But even with xdl conversion and Xilinx router invocation, a small test circuit that flashes an LED takes 8 seconds from start to configured FPGA (with Xilinx tools alone the same circuit took 50 seconds, and that's as small and fast as it gets).
If you have comments or suggestions please post below.