The Design Warrior's Guide to FPGAs: Devices, Tools and Flows / Edition 1

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Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are devices that provide a fast, low-cost way for embedded system designers to customize products and deliver new versions with upgraded features, because they can handle very complicated functions, and be reconfigured an infinite number of times. In addition to introducing the various architectural features available in the latest generation of FPGAs, The Design Warrior’s Guide to FPGAs also covers different design tools and flows.

This book covers information ranging from schematic-driven entry, through traditional HDL/RTL-based simulation and logic synthesis, all the way up to the current state-of-the-art in pure C/C++ design capture and synthesis technology. Also discussed are specialist areas such as mixed hardward/software and DSP-based design flows, along with innovative new devices such as field programmable node arrays (FPNAs).

Clive "Max" Maxfield is a bestselling author and engineer with a large following in the electronic design automation (EDA)and embedded systems industry. In this comprehensive book, he covers all the issues of interest to designers working with, or contemplating a move to, FPGAs in their product designs. While other books cover fragments of FPGA technology or applications this is the first to focus exclusively and comprehensively on FPGA use for embedded systems.

• First book to focus exclusively and comprehensively on FPGA use in embedded designs

• World-renowned best-selling author

• Will help engineers get familiar and succeed with this new technology by providing much-needed advice on choosing the right FPGA for any design project

Audience: Electronics design engineers and engineering managers, ASIC Designers moving to FPGAs, electrical and computer engineering students, sales and marketing professionals in the electronic design arena.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...a must-read book...Maxfield writes in a easy-to-read style, and provides insightful and diverse information. — EDN

Everything you ever wanted to know about FPGAs...Written in an entertaining style...Valuable resource for seasoned engineers and novices. — EE Times

...great source of knowledge to the FPGA newcomer... broadens the veteran designer's knowledge...a fun and engaging read. — Printed Circuit Design & Manufacture

True to form, his latest book on FPGAs is enjoyable to read. Yet it's also rich in the technical details that any modern designer would need. - Wireless Systems Design, August 2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750676045
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 4/26/2004
  • Edition description: With CDROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 542
  • Sales rank: 767,206
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive "Max" Maxfield received a BS in Control Engineering from Sheffield Polytechnic, England in 1980. He began his career as a mainframe CPU designer for International Computers Limited (ICL) in Manchester, England. Max now finds himself a member of the technical staff (MTS) at Intergraph Electronics, Huntsville, Alabama. Max is the author of dozens of articles and papers appearing in magazines and at technical conferences around the world. Max's main area of interest are currently focused in the analog, digital, and mixed-signal simulation of integrated circuits and multichip modules.

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Table of Contents

Introductio; Fundamental Concepts; The Origin of FPGAs; Alternative FPGA Architectures; Programming (Configuring) an FPGA; Who Are All the Players?; FPGA Versus ASIC; HDL-Based Design Flows; Silicon Virtual Prototyping; C/C++ etc.–Based Design Flows;
DSP-Based Design Flows; Embedded Processor-Based; Modular and Incremental Design; High-Speed Design and Other PCB Considerations; Observing Internal Nodes in an FPGA; Intellectual Property; Migrating ASIC Designs to FPGAs and Vice Versa; Simulation, Synthesis, Verification, etc.; Choosing the Right Device; Gigabit Transceivers; Reconfigurable Computing; Creating an Open-Source-Based
Design Flow; Future FPGA Developments; Appendix A:
Signal Integrity 101;Capacitive and inductive coupling(crosstalk), Chip-level effects, Board-level effects, The evolution of delay specifications; Appendix B: Deep-Submicron Delay Effects 101, A potpourri of definitions, Alternative interconnect models, DSM delay effects
Summary, The Ouroboras, Many-to-one implementations; Appendix C: Linear Feedback Shift Registers 101, More taps than you know what to do with, Seeding an LFSR, FIFO applications, Modifying LFSRs to sequence 2n values, Accessing the previous value, Encryption and decryption applications,
Cyclic redundancy check applications.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    An Excellent Introduction and History of FPGAs

    This is a terrific book! I received this book at a seminar on logic synthesis for FPGAs. I found the book absolutely delightful to read, enjoyed the timelines in the margins, and the excellent readability of the text. Also, I implemented a couple of the book's suggestions in my current FPGA device. The debug signal mux for example. I had been recompiling the design each time I needed to examine a different section of the logic. However, by implementing a four-port debug mux, I was able to test various sections of the device without running the recompile sequence each time. This is something I really should have thought of myself, so I appreciate the book's describing this approach as it is saving me a lot of time, wasted effort, and frustration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2004

    Everything You Wanted to Know

    This is a large book of 26 chapters, 3 appendices, and 542 pages. In it, Maxfield covers the full breadth of FPGA design and use. He begins with the internal structure of programmable devices and a brief history of solid state electronics leading up to the modern FPGA. He then goes on to discuss the various FPGA architectures available from the major vendors. When he talks about design flows, Maxfield again brings in a historical perspective. He begins with a history of EDA starting with schematic-based flows, works his way through Verilog and VHDL, and continues with SystemC. But he does not stop there. He goes on with chapters on silicon virtual prototyping, C and C++ based design flows, DSP-based design flows that bring in tools like Matlab, and embedded processor-based design flows. Maxfield, unlike much of the EDA industry, does not forget that chips go on boards. He includes a chapter on the PCB considerations of FPGA design. I must admit that when I first saw the book, I imagined reading it would be something of a slog through the swamp as so many technical books are. Upon first opening the book, I was delighted to discover that Maxfield's writing style actually makes reading the book more of a romp in the park. There are portions of the book that I intended to just scan but found myself sucked into reading in full. I found chapters such as the origins of FPGAs and ASICs to be interestingly informative and nostalgic at the same time. Subject headings such as 'We were all so much younger then' and 'Choosing the best logic simulator in the world' were too irresistible to skim over. In short, 'The Design Warrior's Guide to FPGAs' will be great source of knowledge to the FPGA newcommer. It will also provide new insights and broaden the veteran designer's knowledge of the field. But most of all, it is a fun and engaging read for anyone for whom electronics design is more than a 9 to 5 job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    Handbook for FPGA Warriors

    FGPAs may be from Venus, but the guys who design them are definitely warriors. For my money, 'The Design Warrior's Guide to FPGAs' is your very best bet if you've got a lot of 'willing,' but very little 'way' to prepare for the technical issues facing you if you're working with these devices. Max's book is delightful, light-hearted, wonderful to look at, and easy to read -- all 500 pages! It's also chock-a-full of discussion and discourse on so many of the themes that pervade DAC, EDA, and design. Not only does the book discuss the fundamentals of the physics behind an FPGA, what distinguishes an FPGA from an ASIC, and the contrasting design styles between the two categories of devices, it also touches on embedded processors, DSPs, partitioning for hierarchical design, silicon virtual prototyping, IP, language wars, signal integrity, and deep-submicron effects. But don't take my word for it. The back of the book carries side-by-side endorsements from Richard Goering and Gary Smith. These guys are definitely warriors, and if they don't know of what they speak, who does?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004


    If you are expecting a book heavy on syntax and theory, hard to read, and full of tricky code, convoluted equations, and esoteric terms, then you are going to be disappointed. You will probably need to read books of that type at some time in the future, but they will not give you the global view that is mandatory to understand where you are, where you need to go, and how to get there. By comparison, 'The Design Warrior's Guide to FPGAs' is more a matter of culture, of looking at the 'big picture', and of understanding the 'state of the art'... This book is a 'page turner' that is easy to read, even for non-native readers. (the author - 'Max' - even tells us how to pronounce industry-standard acronyms and how not to be embarrassed by saying words like 'Linux' or 'Fifo' the wrong way :-) But don't be fooled by this 'easy' look : this book contains an incredible amount of clear and accurate information. It will provide you with a LOT of practical and useful knowledge. It clearly explains, for example, what today's tools can do and how; such as what happens when you click on the 'enable retiming' option in your favorite synthesis or P&R tool, or what 'clock de-skewing' is all about. The 'Signal Integrity 101' appendix is another proof that complex things can be explained with (few) simple words. In just a few hours, this book will give you a culture and establish notions that would otherwise require many years of actual experience in the field. It will help you understand the tools you are going to use, the technology behind the components, and what to expect. This book is definitely a must-read for 'young' engineers (anyone with less than 5 years of intensive experience in FPGA or Asic design). Having said this, the topics are so varied that even experienced hands will also benefit from this book. Our industry is moving so fast that one cannot pretend to know everything about everything... this book really covers a lot of ground and I found it interesting from cover to cover. The included CD-Rom has a computer-readable version of the book, which is a nice 'plus'. Last, but not least, the price is fair. I love this book and really wish that every engineer to whom I teach HDLs would read it. Bert Cuzeau - Asic & FPGA Design Expert

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