Xilinx and Tensilica Announce Configurable Processor Support for Programmable Systems Design

10/17/2002 - Xilinx and Tensilica, a new Xilinx AllianceCORETM program member, announced that Tensilica's Xtensa-V configurable processors now support Xilinx FPGAs. Leveraging Tensilica's web-based Processor Generator and the new Virtex-II-based XT2000-X processor emulation system, system designers can now iterate, implement, and debug custom Xtensa processor configurations and view the results in Xilinx FPGAs within hours. Designers can run Xtensa processor emulations in real hardware at speeds closer to actual system requirements, given the Virtex-II-based emulation board runs 50% faster than previous Tensilica FPGA emulation boards.

"Tensilica has made evaluation of Xtensa core configurations fast and easy now that their configuration tool and the XT2000-X emulation board supports the Xilinx design flow. It has dramatically reduced our development time," said Toshiaki Ohno, senior manager at NEC's IP Network Division. "The short compile times we get with the Xilinx ISE software is a great advantage, and we are able to achieve higher performance using the Xilinx emulation system than previous emulation boards."

"We are impressed by the capabilities of the Virtex-II devices from Xilinx," said Steve Roddy, director of product marketing at Tensilica. "We configured the Xtensa processor to accelerate an MPEG-4 decoder system and created a demonstration for a recent trade show running real-time video and audio decode implemented fully in software running on the Xtensa processor on our board. This really showcases the power and performance of our configurable, extensible processor and the new Xilinx emulation system."

Fully Programmable Design Flow
The Xtensa configurable and extensible microprocessor architecture provides a powerful, integrated hardware and software development environment. Designers can create customized processor solutions with specialized execution units, register files and instructions using the Xtensa processor generator. Through this process, developers can simultaneously tune both application software and processor hardware to meet application-specific speed, power and feature goals.

Tensilica customers who purchase the XT2000-X emulation system receive fully automated support for the emulation board through the Processor Generator. The generator creates the RTL source code for the Xtensa processor and associated interface logic for the emulation platform and then automatically runs the design through the Xilinx ISE design software to generate the programming files for the emulation board. Designers can now create a new processor and go from concept to hardware in a matter of hours.

Programmable Systems Support
Tensilica has also recently announced that the Xtensa Processor Generator supports a configuration option to include a bridge to IBM's CoreConnect bus architecture. As a result, users of both Tensilica's and Xilinx's technologies can develop complex programmable systems using IBM's CoreConnect bus structure and any combination of Xtensa processors, Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor cores, high-performance Virtex-II Pro devices with embedded PowerPC processors, and any of the growing set of CoreConnect peripheral cores offered by Xilinx. Both the Virtex-II Pro device and Xtensa processors are supported by WindRiver's VxWorks operating system development environment.

The Xtensa-V processor and XT2000-X emulation board are available immediately from Tensilica.

About Tensilica
Tensilica is the leading supplier of application-specific processor cores for the System On Chip (SOC) market. Tensilica's Xtensa processor is a configurable and extensible 32-bit RISC microprocessor core that delivers unrivaled performance for single- and multi-processor SOCs.

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

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