Posted by Michael Posner on November 23, 2015
A while back I wrote about a couple of ways to develop ARM-based software (and other CPU software) using either a physical connection to a hardware board with a CPU subsystem or a Virtual connection to a CPU subsystem using Hybrid Prototyping. I still stand by my conclusion that the Hybrid Prototyping approach provides the most flexibility and is the best solution for early software development.
Using a fix and hardened SoC still plays a role in early software development as it sometimes does have the advantage of including more than just the CPU. For example the Juno ARM Development Platform is a great little platform. It includes the ARM® Cortex®-A57 and Cortex-A53 for ARMv8 big.LITTLE in addition to the Mali™-T624 GP-GPU and a set of peripherals. Having a GPU as part of the full SoC implementation expands the type of software which can be developed.
Synopsys tested the Juno ARM Development platform against the HAPS systems with implementations of the DesignWare IP. The first way to connect the HAPS to the Juno board is via a PCIe interface. The HAPS includes a PCIe IP and the USB Host IP under test. The PCIe IP is used to create the link between the Juno and HAPS. It’s easy to connect the two in this method and the Linux running on the Juno platform can be used to access the USB Host on the HAPS system.
However the PCIe adds a layer between the Juno and the design under test (USB host in this case) which adds additional complexity. A second method to connect HAPS to Juno is using a native connection. Internally we have developed an adapter bard which enables Hapstrak™ cables to be used to connect Juno and HAPS. Basically the connection enables an AXI-based bus across the connection directly linking the Juno expansion bus to the DesignWare IP on the HAPS system. The advantage of this connection is that it’s closer to the SoC architecture (No PCIe).
Either way, if you need to connect HAPS to Juno ARM Development platform there are easy to use methods.
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