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FPGA Design Methods for Fast Turn Around

Today's FPGAs are doubling in capacity every two years and have already surpassed the 5 million ASIC-equivalent gate mark. With designs of this magnitude, the need for fast flows has never been greater. At the same time, designers are seeking rapid feedback on their ASIC or FPGA designs by implementing quick prototypes or initial designs on FPGA-based boards. These prototypes or designs allow designers to start development, verification and debug of the design – in the context of system software and hardware – and also to fine tune algorithms in the design architecture. Quick and intuitive debug iterations to incorporate fixes are of great value. The ability to perform design updates that don't completely uproot all parts of the design that have already been verified is also a bonus! Whether the goal is to achieve aggressive performance or to get a working initial design or prototype on the board as quickly as possible, this paper provides information on traditional and new techniques that accelerate design and debug iterations.

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