Xilinx and Agilent Technologies Deliver Combined Solution to Cut Cost and Time of Programmable In-Circuit System Design

10/8/2002 - Xilinx and Agilent Technologies announced the availability of a new solution to assist with the in-circuit design of Xilinx field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Xilinx FPGAs, crucial components in the semiconductor industry, are used in a wide range of electronics applications such as computers, wireless phones, automotive and industrial products.

The companies have fused the Xilinx® ChipScopeTM Pro, Agilent trace core and Agilent FPGA trace port analyzer into a single solution that helps R&D design engineers shorten the debugging time for in-circuit designs, cutting development costs and accelerating time to market for products built using Xilinx FPGAs. The result of this joint development marks the first time in the semiconductor industry that FPGA verification software has been integrated into test equipment hardware.

"Xilinx FPGAs are essential in our product development and I rely heavily on Agilent logic analysis technology to effectively debug these designs," said Chris Bernard, design engineer at Optical Solutions, Inc. "It's exciting to see Xilinx and Agilent co-develop a solution to address the need for internal FPGA visibility, with an understanding of the severe constraints FPGA designers often encounter."

The ChipScope Pro tool is an optional software tool that integrates directly to the Xilinx Integrated Software Environment (ISE) version 5.1i release. The combination of Xilinx ChipScope Pro with Agilent trace core, a new IP core designed specifically for in-system debug of Xilinx FPGAs, and Agilent FPGA trace port analyzer gives engineers an efficient method for performing complex analysis of the behavior of signals within the FPGA. The Agilent FPGA trace port analyzer, a LAN-based cable that provides high-performance access to the FPGA for configuration, is equipped with deep trace storage. The complete solution supports Xilinx Virtex-II ProTM , VirtexTM -II, Virtex-E, Spartan®-II and Spartan-IIE FPGA families.

"Through our successful longtime relationship with Agilent, we're delivering the vital tools our customers need to quickly move designs from R&D into production," said Rich Sevcik, senior vice president of FPGA Solutions Group at Xilinx. "As the leader in logic analysis, Agilent brings proven expertise in high-speed acquisition technology that reduces debug and in-system validation times for increasingly more advanced embedded system designs built using Xilinx FPGAs."

ChipScope Pro software, which supports all of the Xilinx FPGA families on Windows® 2000 and Windows XP, makes it possible for Xilinx FPGA users to easily debug designs. ChipScope Pro cores are integrated into the FPGA to provide real-time debug and verification capabilities via a standard JTAG port. Using the ChipScope Pro software, designers spend less time debugging in-system chip functionality, thereby improving time to market. The Agilent trace core can be integrated into an FPGA design in the same way ChipScope Pro cores are integrated, using the ChipScope Pro COREGeneratorÔ tool or directly into the design netlist via the Core Inserter.

"New system applications now being developed and implemented in Xilinx FPGAs have driven demand for more advanced debug and verification methods," said Ron Nersesian, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Design Verification Unit. "Agilent has worked closely with Xilinx, the market leader for FPGAs, to provide our customers with robust tools for in-circuit debug that offer the best of both worlds — external logic analysis from Agilent and internal FPGA access and visibility via ChipScope Pro tool from Xilinx."

U.S. Pricing and Availability
ChipScope Pro with Agilent trace core is currently available from Xilinx as part of Xilinx ISE release 5.1i, with promotional pricing of $695 until Nov. 7. ChipScope Pro 5.1i tool also is available for free via a 30-day Web downloadable evaluation version. All in-maintenance Xilinx ChipScope ILA customers will receive ChipScope Pro 5.1 release. Agilent's FPGA trace port analyzer, E5904B option 500, is priced at $6,995. The Agilent trace core ships standard with each license of ChipScope Pro.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

About Xilinx
Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) is the worldwide leader of programmable logic and programmable system solutions.

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