The SAE AS5643 compliant FireCore GPLink IP Core is targeted at applications requiring a replacement for the currently used general purpose Link Layer Controller chips. FireCore GPLink has all functional blocks typically required for A&D implementations. Several markets can make use of the FireCore GPLink IP Core including Aerospace & Defense (A&D), Industrial, and Consumer Electronics. Examples of typical applications in A&D for the FireCore GPLink include remote I/O devices (RIO) and their standardized network interfaces (e.g. NDB, BIM, NIU).
FireCore also includes FireGate, a fully IEEE-1394b compliant PHY layer. Having FireGate connect and operate at S200 and S400 (the S100 version is to follow soon) marks a new milestone for the usage of IEEE-1394 in A&D as many current & upcoming programs can now leverage the FLASH-based FPGA benefits offered by the IGLOO2 and SmartFusion2 platforms together with the full-featured functionality of the FireGate PHY IP core.
Jeroen de Zoeten, DapTechnology’s Director of Engineering proudly adds: “FireCore is designed to be highly configurable. It allows for the pre-configuration of key functions and components via compilation parameters and the optimization of FPGA resources. For example, the number of PHY ports can be customized from 1 – 16, which is great for a wide variety of devices.”
The advantages of implementing a complete IEEE-1394 I/O interface with an IP solution can be summarized as:
- Single-chip solution: Combination of PHY and Link Layer IPs thus creating smaller footprint solutions. Additional components (CPUs, encoders, etc.) can be added to create a System On Chip (SOC) solution.
- Flexible number of ports: Commercially available PHY chips typically have a fixed number (3) of ports. However, host adapters would likely benefit from 3 or more ports and a hub could even have more than that. For a PHY based on FPGA technology, the user can customize the number of ports as required.
- Optional debug and test features: Optionally, the user can include debug and test features like BERT (Bit Error Rate Test) Low level data monitoring and recording
- Field-upgradable: The used FPGAs are field upgradable thus allowing the addition new features or bug fixes, even if the device is already in the field.
- Cost effective ASICS: Once a design is finalized an IP solution offers a very cost-effective path to the rendering of a custom ASIC.