Electronic Lab

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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.

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

Owner

Current status

Detailed Description

FEL bridges 2 different opensource communities :

  • opensource software community
  • opensource hardware community

After 4 consecutive and successive releases, FEL/Fedora is regarded as the Leader in this field by both communities due to its 4-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.
  • Improved of design tools for DSP design flow.
  • Introduction of PLA tools for the digital design flow.
  • Introduction of a Peer Review Web-based solutions for small businesses.
  • Introduction of simulators for 8081 and 8085 microcontrollers.
  • Default IDE for Digital/Embedded design : Eclipse.
  • Provided development tools for Openmoko development.

Users who are using the standard fedora live media can even

yum groupinstall 'Electronic Lab'

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

Benefit to Fedora

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

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

The Fedora Project during the last 4 Fedora releases has established its roots deep into the opensource EDA community as a robust and successful opensource EDA provider. With this fifth 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,..

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, existing opensource hardware communities and existing opensource EDA software communities.

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

  yum groupinstall 'Electronic Lab'
  Nightly FEL LiveDVD builds. (logs)
  git clone ssh://git.fedorahosted.org/git/fedora-electronic-lab.git

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.

User Experience

Fedora Electronic Lab team publishes FEL-12's Release Notes (PDF). This document entails all the development carried out on this new release. Users are advised to read these Release Notes.

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.

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 Fedora 21 is only to improve the existing FEL backbone.

Documentation

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

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Detailed Documentation
$ rpm -ql PACKAGE


History

Comments and Discussion

Some pictures can be found here.

  • 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.