As with any product development, ASIC designers aim to quicken time to market and reduce unnecessary design cycles. Designing full-custom ASICs comes with many benefits but leveraging the flexibility, configurability and high-performance of FPGAs has become a preferred method for ASIC development.
ASIC development with FPGAs features several benefits. FPGAs allow for fast and accurate ASIC modeling and verification. Emulated prototype ASICs enable accelerated software and firmware development. FPGA-based ASIC development also reduces system space requirements and power consumption while nearly eliminating the development risks of large ASIC/ASSPs.
Synopsys HAPS® Prototyping Solutions
The Synopsys HAPS Prototyping Solutions remain a popular ASIC development platform for many ASIC designers. HAPS (High-performance ASIC Prototyping Systems) integrates scalable hardware and software solutions ideally targeted for FPGA-based ASIC development. HAPS hardware consists of modular solutions targeted at ASICs of any size. Options include the HAPS-80, HAPS-70 and HAPS-DX.
The HAPS hardware platforms are configurable via flexible I/O expansion options. Some HAPS platforms support industry standard VITA 57 FMC formats. Another expansion IO option is the HAPS RISER8 Multi-Gigabit Board (MGB). which feature a right-angled eight-lane connector for linking external I/O options to HAPS hardware platforms.
Gigafirm MCB-FireFly Module
Tokyo-based Gigafirm is one of many third-party vendors supporting the HAPS ecosystem. A number of HAPS users require linking two or more platforms together for larger ASIC development applications. Gigafirm has developed the MGB-FireFly Module for these applications.
The MGB-FireFly Module is compatible with the HAPS MGB interface. They support linking two HAPS hardware platforms together via the Samtec FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™. For short distances, two MGB-Firely Modules can connect via a Samtec ECUE series FireFly™ copper cable assembly.
Longer distances are supported by using fiber optics. The Samtec ECUO series FireFly™ optical cable assemblies use OM3 multimode fiber to reach distances of up to 100m. These fiber cable assemblies terminate via 12-lane MPO optical connectors on End 2.
Samtec FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™
The FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™ is the first interconnect system that gives a designer the flexibility of using micro footprint optical and copper interconnects interchangeably with the same connector system.
The FireFly™ system enables chip-to-chip, board-to-board, on-board and system-to-system connectivity at data rates up to 28 Gbps. FireFly™ is based on a high performance interconnect system which allows the use of low-cost copper cables or high performance active optical engines.