Portable handheld-sized devices can implement field test equipment, such as multimeters, handheld scopes, and automotive diagnostic devices.
These portable devices have been implemented using a host of discrete components and a CPU. However, it takes more time and resources to implement these custom hardware platforms, resulting in:
- Wasteful efforts developing standard blocks instead of custom application blocks
- Obsolescence risk from multiple discrete ASSP and CPU components
- Integration risk, cost, and inflexibility of ASICs
- Integrate multiple ASSP devices and the CPU into a single application-independent FPGA
- Implement independent functions into multiple Nios II processors on a single FPGA
- Couple coprocessing logic with a Nios II processor to "supercharge" functional performance
- Easily integrate all the application-specific and standard intellectual property (IP) functionality with SOPC Builder
Additional productivity benefits include:
- Reusing previous engineering IP development efforts
- Leveraging additional Altera® MegaCore® and partner IP blocks
- Separating application-specific analog I/O and sensor circuits onto modular daughter cards
Figure 1 shows how a Cyclone, Arria, or Stratix series FPGA implements a system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) using one or more Nios II processors, including custom logic. The user interface, application-specific analog functionality, and network connectivity can be added to complete the portable device.
Figure 1. Portable Devices