BENGALURU — Arm has announced it is collaborating with Xilinx, the market leader in FPGAs, to bring the benefits of Arm Cortex-M processors to FPGA providing scalability and a standardized processor architecture across the Xilinx portfolio.

This collaboration will help embedded developers speed up and enhance FPGA projects with fast, free, easy access to proven Arm IP, it is now possible to gain fast and no cost access to proven, soft processor IP, easy design integration with Xilinx tools and comprehensive software development solutions to accelerate success on FPGA.

This new no license fee, no royalties access model aims to help more developers benefit from Arm technology, with a common software base across their entire device portfolio.

Cortex-M processors give embedded developers the opportunity to design confidently, innovate and benefit from simplified software development and superior code density. In addition, they have the support of the broadest technology ecosystem of software, tools and services providing a valuable and accessible path on which to scale products.

According to a Gartner report - Semiconductor Forecast Database, Worldwide, July 2018, the need for flexibility in product designs is growing, contributing to a predicted 74% volume growth of FPGA) / PLD market between 2016 to 2022 since technology continues to pick up pace and push boundaries.

“This has led to greater pressure for OEMs to develop flexible, application-optimized designs at a faster pace and with less investment. To meet these demands, it is crucial for developers to have easy access to the most widely adopted processors and the broadest set of software, tools and know-how, whether on FPGAs, SoCs or single board computers (SBC),” the report added.

Now, with this new Arm-Xilinx collaboration, developers can choose from a spectrum of options by considering factors such as design requirements, budget, resource availability and time-to-market, all critical in an increasingly connected world with a vast range of applications and needs. Options include SBCs, off-the-shelf chips, FPGAs and custom silicon. Product manufacturers can establish a competitive advantage through the design flexibility and differentiation offered by more application-optimized FPGA and custom silicon designs.

Enhanced Xilinx-based designs

Arm’s partnership with Xilinx opens the flexibility benefits of Arm processors for all developers and simplifies development on a consistent architecture spanning Xilinx’s Spartan, Artix and Zynq portfolios. It will also enables developers to take advantage of the benefits of heterogeneous compute on a single processor architecture by using the Cortex-A processors built in to the Zync SoC portfolio alongside the newly available Cortex-M soft IP in DesignStart. By allocating processing tasks to the right compute engine, whether high performance Cortex-A, real-time Cortex-M or custom logic, developers can create more sophisticated products with a reduced time-to-market.

— Sufia Tippu is a freelance tech journalist based in India contributing to EE Times India