By Mark Hermeling
Xilinx, Inc. recently announced first customer ship of their new Zynq®UltraScale+™ MPSoC, which combines Xilinx Programmable Logic with six (!) user-programmable processors in the form of four ARM® Cortex™A53 cores and two ARM® Cortex™R5 cores. This does not count additional special-purpose processors within the design, or additional MicroBlaze processors that can be instantiated within the Programmable Logic.
This is a large amount of processing power and a developer needs the right tools and technologies to make optimal use of this platform across the distinct use cases. A developer needs tools to support the high performance ARM® Cortex™A53 application processing cores, the ARM® Cortex™R5 real-time processors, and the MicroBlaze processors whose hardware can be tailored to the customer’s needs.
The quad core ARM® Cortex™A53 complex is well suited for an embedded Linux distribution, a real-time OS running in SMP configuration, or as a host for a hypervisor which can efficiently create two dual core complexes (or more exotic configurations). It has plenty of memory and can handle middleware layers, networking protocols, graphics stacks and the like.
The ARM® Cortex™ R5 and the MicroBlaze processors are much smaller processors, that do not require as much external connectivity. The focus in these processors is to handle events, process some logic and then pass information up to the ARM® Cortex™A53 for control handling if needed. These processors are much better suited for a small real-time operating system, often referred to as a microkernel.
MultiOS configurations are always a big cognitive load for development teams both in terms of system architecture and development tools work flow. Often, a unique programming environments corresponding to each operating system is needed. This is where Wind River comes in with it’s Wind River Linux and VxWorks. All these operating systems are hosted through the same IDE and supported by the same debugger. So while there is still a lot of complexity to manage for a development team, Wind River makes it as easy as possible.
Board support packages are already available, so if your team is one of the lucky customers to receive one of the initial shipments, then Wind River can support you to get your device to market as quickly as possible.