RISC Processors in an FPGA for $2.00

The introduction of the CycloneTM FPGA family provides system designers with a new platform for creating user-definable microprocessor-based systems. This document illustrates the range of possibilities for integrated systems using Nios® embedded processors, soft intellectual property (IP) cores, and Cyclone devices. The Nios embedded processor is a configurable 32-bit RISC processor. Nios embedded systems can be created with any number of peripherals. Table 1 shows the base core sizes for the Nios embedded processor. Most peripherals listed can be parameterized to fit the specific application and can be instantiated multiple times within a single MPU. In addition, customer-designed logic and peripherals can be integrated with the Nios processor to deliver a unique MPU. The creation of these custom MPUs can be done in minutes using the Altera® SOPC Builder tool, and synthesized to run on any Altera FPGA. In addition to the IP cores listed in Table 2, SOPC Builder features additional IP cores available from Altera and our Altera Megafunction Partners Program (AMPPSM) partners.

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