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Evaluation kit for system on chips

23rd July 2014

Posted By Paul Boughton


Microsemi has launched an evaluation kit for its SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA, writes Nick Flaherty.

The kit is an easy-to-use, feature-rich, affordable platform designed to enable designers to quickly and easily accelerate evaluation or prototype their application. 

Using Microsemi’s mainstream SmartFusion2 chips enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to leverage the device’s lowest power consumption in its class, high reliability capabilities and best-in-class security technology to build highly differentiated products that help them gain a significant time to market advantage.

SmartFusion2 Evaluation Kit allows for simplified development of transceiver I/O-based FPGA designs

A prime example is that the SmartFusion2 Evaluation Kit allows for simplified development of transceiver I/O-based FPGA designs necessary in today’s PCI Express (PCIe) and Gigabit Ethernet-based systems. 

For faster evaluation and prototyping, Microsemi’s leading-edge evaluation board is small form-factor PCIe compliant, which can be used on any desktop PC or laptop with a PCIe slot. 

According to market research firm Infonetics, the carrier Ethernet market will grow to approximately $39 billion in 2017.

The Smartfusion 2 family combines an inherently reliable flash-based FPGA fabric, a 166MHz ARM Cortex-M3 processor, advanced security processing accelerators, DSP blocks, SRAM, eNVM, and industry-required high-performance communication interfaces all on a single chip.

The SoC provides the most advanced design and data security capabilities starting with a robust root-of-trust device with secure key storage capability using the SoC FPGA industry's only physically unclonable function (PUF) key enrollment and regeneration capability from Intrinsic ID. SmartFusion2 is also the only SoC FPGA protected from differential power analysis (DPA) attacks using technology from Cryptography Research Incorporated (CRI) portfolio.

“Leveraging our experience as a leader in this market, Microsemi’s new SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA Evaluation Kit is the ideal development platform for designers just starting to work with FPGA-based processors. We’ve made it easier to implement new designs because designers aren’t starting from scratch,” said Venkatesh Narayanan, director of software and systems engineering at Microsemi. “It is important for our OEMs to implement designs quickly and Microsemi’s new kit provides the key mainstream features customers demand most, with a 25K LE SmartFusion2 mainstream FPGA and SERDES evaluation capabilities at a very affordable price point.”

The kit offers a comprehensive set of features that include PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet, full-duplex SERDES SMA pairs, DDR memory, SPI Flash, USB On-The-Go and several expansion interfaces that create the needed flexibility for a wide range of application development. With purchase of the evaluation kit, developers also have access to Microsemi’s full array of industry leading development resources such as reference designs and the ability to launch example application demonstrations.







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