(CANCELLED) Getting Started with FPGAs and HDLs

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in Burnside

Excerpt

Lots of attention has been given to GPUs for speeding up certain types of computations. While GPUs are very well suited for vector operations, there are other things they are not so well suited for. FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are not used as widely yet, but they offer a much more flexible computing fabric than GPUs. You can implement a GPU in an FPGA, for example, or you could implement your own custom processor optimized for very specialized tasks. The barrier to entry can be high for FPGAs: how does a person with a software development background get started using them? And what about HDLs (Hardware Description Langauges) used to program FPGAs? What's the difference between simulation and synthesis? What kinds of tools are freely available? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this session.

Description

Lots of attention has been given to GPUs for speeding up certain computations. Not as much attention has been focused on FPGAs,but they are likely the next frontier for high performance computing. How does someone with a software development background get started experimenting with FPGAs? First you need to learn about HDLs (Hardware Description Languages) which are used to design FPGA circuits.

In this talk we’ll spend some time getting acquainted with VHDL. Then we’ll navigate through issues such as simulation, synthesis and the meaning of “synthesizable subset”. We’ll touch on FPGA vendor tools as well as open source tools available for simulation. And we’ll take a quick look at open source hardware models that you can incorporate into your own designs.

Speaking experience

Speaker

  • Phil2

    Biography

    Phil is currently a software engineer at Emota.net doing serverside development for a real time web app in Javascript, node.js and redis. Prior to this he worked at Mentor Graphics working on a tool that takes C/C++ code and generates synthesizable RTL code as the output which can be targeted to FPGAs or ASICs. He’s been involved in starting PDX.rb, pdxfunc and Westsideproggers.

    Sessions

      • Title: (CANCELLED) Getting Started with FPGAs and HDLs
      • Track: Cooking
      • Room: Burnside
      • Time: 1:302:15pm
      • Excerpt:

        Lots of attention has been given to GPUs for speeding up certain types of computations. While GPUs are very well suited for vector operations, there are other things they are not so well suited for. FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) are not used as widely yet, but they offer a much more flexible computing fabric than GPUs. You can implement a GPU in an FPGA, for example, or you could implement your own custom processor optimized for very specialized tasks. The barrier to entry can be high for FPGAs: how does a person with a software development background get started using them? And what about HDLs (Hardware Description Langauges) used to program FPGAs? What’s the difference between simulation and synthesis? What kinds of tools are freely available? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this session.

      • Speakers: Phil Tomson