Altera and ARM Announce Industry’s First FPGA-Adaptive Embedded Software Toolkit

December 12, 2012

New Partnership Creates DS-5 Toolkit That Removes Debugging Barriers for SoC FPGA Devices  


San Jose, Calif., December 12, 2012— Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and ARM (LSE: ARM; NASDAQ: ARMH) today announced that, under a unique agreement, the companies have jointly developed a DS-5 embedded software development toolkit with FPGA-adaptive debug capabilities for Altera SoC devices.  The ARM® Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) Altera Edition toolkit is designed to remove the debugging barrier between the  integrated dual-core CPU subsystem and  FPGA fabric in Altera SoC devices.  By combining the most advanced multi-core debugger for the ARM architecture with the ability to adapt to the logic contained in the FPGA , the new toolkit provides embedded software developers an unprecedented level of full-chip visibility and control through the standard DS-5 user interface.  The new toolkit will be included in the Altera SoC Embedded Development Suite and will begin shipping in early 2013.

Altera SoC devices combine a dual-core ARM Cortex™-A9 processor with FPGA logic on a single device, giving users the power and flexibility to create custom field-programmable SoC variants by implementing user-defined peripherals and hardware accelerators in the FPGA fabric. Altera is currently shipping engineering samples of its Cyclone V SoC devices.  Please  see  Altera’s press release “Altera Shipping Cyclone V SoC FPGAs” announced today at .

The ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Altera Edition embedded software development toolkit dynamically adapts to the unique customer configuration of the FPGA within the SoC to seamlessly extend embedded debugging capabilities across the CPU-FPGA boundary and unify all software debugging information from the CPU and FPGA domains with the standard DS-5 user interface.  When combined with the advanced multi-core debugging capability of the DS-5 Debugger, and the link to the Quartus II SignalTap logic analyzer for cross-triggering capability, the toolkit delivers an unprecedented level of debugging visibility and control that leads to substantial productivity gains.

“Leading-edge silicon devices demand leading-edge software tools.  That demand has been met by this toolkit for Altera 28nm Cyclone V and Arria V SoC devices and for upcoming Altera 20nm SoC devices,” said John Cornish, executive vice president, system design division, ARM. “This development has unified CPU debugging with FPGA debugging to bolster user productivity. Altera and ARM have made this advanced tool technology with premium, productivity-boosting features widely available through the Altera SoC development kits and the Altera SoC Embedded Development Suite. We believe this combination will deliver valuable benefits to our mutual customers.” said John Cornish, executive vice president, system design division, ARM.

The ARM DS-5 toolkit suite offers the most advanced multi-core debugger in the market for the ARM architecture.  It supports debugging on systems running in asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) system configurations. It is broadly used for board bring-up, driver development, OS porting, bare-metal and Linux application development, through JTAG and Ethernet debugging interfaces, and offers Linux and RTOS awareness.

 “We are very proud of the partnership and innovation in this joint work with ARM,” said Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing at Altera. “The ARM  DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit gives software engineers an incredibly powerful development and debugging tool, allowing for the fastest development time for our SoC devices.” 

Key Features and Benefits: 
Innovations in the SoC hardware design, DS-5 tools and Quartus-II software combine to deliver FPGA adaptive unified debugging for Altera SoC devices, giving users an unmatched level of visibility and controllability to the whole system.  The ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit features the following capabilities:

  • Software debug view adapts to include the peripheral devices programmed by the developer into the  FPGA fabric, providing a seamless  view of both the hard and soft  peripheral register memory map of the entire  SoC
  • The DS-5 Debugger simultaneously displays debug/  trace data for the Cortex™-A9 processor cores and  CoreSight™ -compliant custom logic cores  implemented in  the FPGA fabric
  • Altera USB Blaster JTAG debug cable supports both the DS-5 debugger and other Altera JTAG-based tools for  the Altera SoC device
  • Allows non-intrusive capture and visualization of signal events in the FPGA fabric that can be, time correlated with software events and processor instruction trace
  • Includes the DS-5 Streamline performance analyzer, which correlates software thread and event information with hardware counters from both the SoC and FPGA, enabling the identification and correction of system-level bottlenecks.

Pricing and Availability
The ARM DS-5 Altera Edition toolkit for Altera SoCs is being presented at the ARM Technical Symposium in Paris on December 13, 2012. This toolkit will be included in the Altera SoC Embedded Development Suite (Altera SoC EDS) Subscription Edition for $995. The Altera SoC EDS will start shipping in early 2013.

About ARM

ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. Find out more about ARM by following these links:

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About Altera

Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate, and win in their markets. Find out more about Altera’s FPGA, CPLD, and ASIC devices at Follow Altera via Facebook, RSS, and Twitter.

About Arm

Arm technology is building the future of computing. Our energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have enabled advanced computing in more than 250 billion chips and our technologies securely power products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. Together with 1,000+ technology partners, we are enabling artificial intelligence to work everywhere, and in cybersecurity, we are delivering the foundation for trust in the digital world – from chip to cloud. The future is being built on Arm.

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