Electronic Lab

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Revision as of 22:08, 27 July 2009

Contents

Spin Name

Fedora Electronic Lab

Summary

Fedora Electronic Lab is Fedora's high-end hardware design and simulation platform. This platform provides different hardware design flows based on the semiconductor industry's current trend. FEL maps in three methodologies {design, simulation and verification} with opensource EDA software.

This page is a feature request to Spin committee and FESCo with respect to the work done behind the Fedora Electronic Lab.

FEL's website : http://chitlesh.fedorapeople.org/FEL/

History

Definitions

Below are terms used in this page which has other meanings in a normal opensource software community. These definitions are to prevent any misunderstandings from any side.

  • EDA Software : a design or simulation tool that can be compiled into a RPM package
  • Package : Mechanical body that envelops a chip
  • Design tools : software that helps to design Analog/digital/Mixed Signal based hardware
  • Simulation tools : software that helps to simulate hardware designs
  • Verification methodologies : solutions to verify the hardware designs, even if the design consists of state machines and memory.

Owner

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 21
  • Last updated: 2 June 2009
  • The precise percentage of completion is listed on this here.

Detailed Description

FEL bridges 2 different opensource communities :

  • opensource software community
  • opensource hardware community

After 3 consecutive and successive releases, FEL/Fedora is regarded as the Leader in this field by both communities due to its 3-years experience and quality EDA solutions.

Below entails the highlights of the major development items to put the quality barrier higher than the previous releases:

  • Perl modules to extend vhdl and verilog support. These perl modules together with rawhide's gtkwave improves chip testing support.
  • Introduction of Verilog-AMS modeling into ngspice
  • Improved VHDL debugging support with gcov.
  • Improved support for re-usable HDL packages as IP core
  • Improved PLI support on both iverilog and ghdl
  • Introduction of C-based methodologies for HDL testbenches and models.
  • Improved co-simulation based hardware design.
  • Introduction of design tools for DSP design flow

Users who are using the standard fedora live media and even

yum groupinstall 'Electronic Lab'

to deploy this high-end hardware design, simulation and verification platform.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora benefits from FEL in various ways as FEL extends Fedora's commitments to the hardware design community.

The Fedora Project during the last 3 Fedora releases has established its roots deep into the opensource EDA community as a robust and successful opensource EDA provider. With this fourth FEL release, Fedora Electronic Lab userbase is now

  • Students/researchers
  • Lecturers
  • Analog/Digital/Mixed Signal hardware designers (even Test engineers)
  • System Electronic Engineers
  • Project Coordinators
  • New opensource EDA developers
  • Field application engineers (who have never heard of FEL)
  • ...(but not software geeks)

FEL brings something unique that is missing in the opensource software community : a community that helps to foster EDA software development and support opensource EDA community.

Thereby, FEL is not a --package-only-EDA-tools-- community, but has a clear goal to strengthen the opensource EDA community, in terms of marketing, design methodologies, design flows,..

Fedora is the Leader and Expert in opensource EDA software deployment.

During the F11 development cycle, Fedora was exposed to the EDA world through:

  • YOU Magazine - 2 consecutive years - They claimed to sell more than 20000 copies of each issue of their magazine each month.
  • Xuropa : Fedora is aligned on Xuropa just after the Number 2 TOP EDA company on this online TradeShow.
  • LinuxEvents : LinuxTagBerlin2008, FOSS.IN 2009, FOSDEM2009
  • DVCON organizers are now aware of Fedora's commitment to the EDA world

Some compliments we got from fosdem:

  • MaxSpevak : FEL is a very good example of innovative side of Fedora.
  • JeroenMeuven : FEL is the successful fedora spin since the spin idea came up during F7.
  • GregDeKonigberg: FEL came up to the opensource environment with a clear mind about a problem to fix, what the opensource community is missing and no one has stepped in before.
  • Glexos : FEL's leadership in its field(electronics) is an example

for other opensource sigs to follow.

Scope

FEL is the leader and expert in the opensource EDA community. Unlike other similar projects, FEL is an EDA solutions provider rather than a random EDA software provider. FEL's solutions include design tools that fit into hardware design methodologies and meet interoperability between other design tools in the design flows.

Those solutions also extend to support opensource EDA software development and existing opensource EDA software community.

FEL will focus on increasing its current quality barrier to match current semiconductor industry's needs.

How To Test

1. FEL is and should be computer hardware independent.

2. No additional system setup is required to satisfy a basic design flow

3. Each EDA software includes its examples and can be used to tell each tool individually. Perl modules bundled for hardware development have undergone self-testing during their builds, i.e %make check


Additional testing

  yum groupinstall 'Electronic Lab'
  git clone ssh://git.fedorahosted.org/git/fedora-electronic-lab.git
  cd wiki-examples

Here there is an example of a Nor2. A basic design flow is entailed in its Makefile. This design flow comprises the use of several independent design and simulation tools.

Spin Maintainer Test ChangeLog

Checks Items Date Status
My date
Build No dependency breakage FAILED
Sanity Auto login
Application Analog

User Experience

Without FEL, users are on their own to deduce a proper design flow with the proper tools for each stage of the design flow. Only a couple of users using opensource design tools succeed in completing a hardware project with opensource tools. But this requires at least 2 years to build a proper EDA platform from opensource software in order to design hardware for the real life.

FEL comes to solve this issue. The latest methodology included on FEL platform is the means for verifications and debugging for digital based designs.

The perl modules included for F11 brings a new methodology under the Fedora umbrella. This methodology is Verification together with possibilities for co-simulation based design and simulation. Fedora remains the sole linux distribution distributing FEL methodologies for hardware design, simulation and verification. Thereby users tend to have the one-stop linux distribution for advanced electronic design.

Updates of the existing RPM packages have improved design experience in terms of development time and debugging. While FEL understands Moore's Law is important for its userbase, these improvements will allow users to design a more efficient and successful designs with opensource software.

These enhancements brought to the Fedora umbrella increase chances that Fedora users can complete their high-end hardware design even if scaled to 90nm and wrap up their project with final tapeout.

Kickstart File

http://git.fedorahosted.org/git/?p=spin-kickstarts.git;a=blob_plain;f=fedora-livedvd-electronic-lab.ks;hb=HEAD

ISO Name / FS Label

* Fedora-%{ver}-%{arch}-Live-FEL
* LiveDVD

Dependencies

Desktop Spin

Contingency Plan

There is no need for backup plan as the work done behind FEL-11 is only to improve hardware design experience and expand FEL targeted userbase to Test & Verification Engineers.

Documentation

Each design tool includes its own documentation. Design methodologies are listed on FEL's website:

http://chitlesh.fedorapeople.org/FEL/


Comments and Discussion

Some pictures can be found here.