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Basic FPGA Architecture (Spartan-6)

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1 Basic FPGA Architecture (Spartan-6)
Slice and I/O Resources

2 Objectives After completing this module, you will be able to:
Describe the CLB and slice resources available in Spartan-6 FPGAs Describe flip-flop functionality Anticipate building proper HDL code for Spartan-6 FPGAs

3 Spartan-6 CLB CLB contains two slices Connected to the
COUT CLB contains two slices Connected to the switch matrix for routing to other FPGA resources Carry chain runs vertically in a column from one slice to the one above The Spartan-6 FPGA has a carry chain for the Slice0 carry chain only Switch Matrix CIN

4 Routing Spartan-6 FPGAs use a diagonally symmetric interconnect pattern A rich set of programmable interconnections exist between one switch matrix and the switch matrices nearby Many CLBs can be reached with only a few “hops” A hop is a connection through an active connection point With the exception of the carry chain, all slice connections are done through the switch matrix The mapping of logical connections to these physical routing resources is guided by the use of timing constraints CLB Direct 1 Hop 2 Hops 3 Hops This diagram graphically describes the “pipulation” from one CLB to another. In this case, there is one direct hop to a particular neighboring CLB. There are also several more routing solutions to a neighboring CLB that only require one hop (this will have a slightly longer routing delay). Likewise, there are more ways to route that require two and three hops. The goal of this routing structure is to assure that there are sufficient routing opportunities that enable a design to be routed to completion and meet timing. However, this will depend on the timing objective (tiiming constraints), device utilization, and the placement of the logic. The implementation tools will manage the routing of your design for you.

5 6-Input LUT with Dual Output
6-input LUT can be two 5-input LUTs with common inputs Minimal speed impact to a 6-input LUT One or two outputs Any function of six variables or two independent functions of five variables LUTs can perform any combinatorial function limited only by the number of inputs. The LUT is your primary combinatorial logic resource and is the industry standard. In its simplest form the LUT functions as a small memory containing the desired output value for each combination of input values. This means that the truth table for the desired function is stored as a small ROM, where the inputs of the function act as the address to be read from the memory (essentially a multiplexer controlled by the inputs). The values for the storage elements are generated by the ISE® software tools, and downloaded to all LUTs at configuration time. Each 6-input LUT can be also be configured as two 5-input LUTs. This gives the device some flexibility to build the most efficient design. This also means that the slice can be used to build any function of six variables or two independent functions of five variables.

6 FPGA Slice Resources Four six-input Look Up Tables (LUT)
Four flip-flop/latches Four additional flip-flops These are the new flip-flops Carry chain This is supported on four of the eight flip-flops Wide multiplexers The implementation tools will choose how best to pack your design LUT/RAM/SRL Here is a simplified view of the full slice. The SRL cascade paths are not shown. LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL 0 1

7 Wide Multiplexers Each F7MUX combines the outputs of two LUTs together
This can make a 7-input function or an 8-1 multiplexer The F8MUX combines the outputs of the two F7MUXes This can make an 8-input function or a 16-1 multiplexer MUX output can bypass the flip-flop/latch These muxes save LUTs and improve performance LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL The synthesis and implementation tools will automatically map logic to the F7MUX and F8MUX when appropriate. Note that inference requires the use of a CASE statement in your HDL code. LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL 0 1

8 Carry Logic Carry logic can implement fast arithmetic addition and subtraction Carry out is propagated vertically through the four LUTs in a slice The carry chain propagates from one slice to the slice in the same column in the CLB above (upward) This requires bit ordering Carry look-ahead Combinatorial carry look-ahead over the four LUTs in a slice Implements faster carry cascading from slice to slice LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL 0 1

9 Flip-Flops and Latches
Each slice has four flip-flop/latches (FF/L) Can be configured as either flip-flops or latches The D input can come from the O6 LUT output, the carry chain, the wide multiplexer, or the AX/BX/CX/DX slice input Each slice also has four flip-flops (FF) D input can come from O5 output or the AX/BX/CX/DX input These don’t have access to the carry chain, wide multiplexers, or the slice inputs Only the O5 input is available in the Spartan-6 FPGA Note…if any of the FF/L are configured as latches, the four FFs are not available FF FF/L LUT/RAM/SRL The four original storage elements are referred to as “flip-flop/latch” elements. These correspond to the storage elements that existed in previous generations. They are named AFF/LATCH, BFF/LATCH, CFF/LATCH, and DFF/LATCH. The four new storage elements are referred to simply as “flip-flop” elements. They are named AFF, BFF, CFF, and DFF. LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL LUT/RAM/SRL 0 1

10 CLB Control Signals AFF All flip-flops and flip-flop/latches share the same CLK, SR, and CE signals This is referred to as the “control set” of the flip-flops CE and SR are active high CLK can be inverted at the slice boundary Set/Reset (SR) signal can be configured as synchronous or asynchronous All four flip-flop/latches are configured the same All four flip-flops are configured the same SR will cause the flip-flop to be set to the state specified by the SRVAL attribute AFF/LATCH D CE SR Q CK D CE SR Q CK D CE CK SR The SRVAL of a flip-flop is set by the software depending on the reset state of the flip-flop; it will be set to SRLOW if the flip-flop is set to 0 during the reset condition, or SRHIGH if the flip-flop is set to 1. In Spartan-6 FPGAs, there is only one SRINITVAL attribute, which determines both the reset and post-configuration state of the FPGA. ● ● ● ● ● ● DFF DFF/LATCH D CE SR Q CK D CE SR Q CK

11 SLICEM as Distributed RAM
Uses the same storage that is used for the look-up table function Synchronous write, asynchronous read Can be converted to synchronous read using the flip-flops available in the slice Various configurations Single port One LUT6 = 64x1 or 32x2 RAM Cascadable up to 256x1 RAM Dual port (D) 1 read / write port + 1 read-only port Simple dual port (SDP) 1 write-only port + 1 read-only port Quad-port (Q) 1 read / write port + 3 read-only ports Single Port Dual Port Simple Dual Port Quad Port 32x2 32x4 32x6 32x8 64x1 64x2 64x3 64x4 128x1 128x2 256x1 32x2D 32x4D 64x1D 64x2D 128x1D 32x6SDP 64x3SDP 32x2Q 64x1Q By allowing these storage elements to be modified using FPGA fabric resources, the LUT can be used for the implementation of a small distributed memory. Each LUT can be a single ported 64-bit RAM with synchronous write and asynchronous read. LUTs in slices can be combined to create small dual-port and multi-port RAMs. In Spartan-6 FPGAs, approximately one quarter of slices are SLICEMs in which the LUTs can be programmed as distributed RAMs (this varies with family). Dual-port configurations can be used to implement LUT FIFOs and MicroBlaze™ processor register files. Each port has independent address inputs

12 SLICEM as 32-bit Shift Register
Versatile SRL-type shift registers Variable-length shift register Synchronous FIFOs Content-Addressable Memory (CAM) Pattern generator Compensate for delay / latency Shift register length is determined by the address Constant value giving fixed delay line Dynamic addressing for elastic buffer SRL is non-loadable and has no reset Cascade these up to 128x1 shift register in one slice Effectively, 32 registers with one LUT 32 MUX A 5 Qn 32-bit Shift register D CLK Q 31 LUT In the SLICEM slices, the LUT can also be configured as a dynamically addressable shift register. This component is used most often as a programmable pipeline delay element. There are no set or reset capabilities for the SRL, it is not loadable, and data can only be read serially. To ensure that software can map pipeline delays to the SRL, be sure to code with these restrictions in mind. Each LUT6 can implement a maximum delay of 32 clock cycles. The SRLs within a slice can be cascaded for longer shift registers (up to 128). The shift register length can be changed asynchronously by changing the value applied to the address pins (A). This means that you can dynamically change the pipeline delay associated with an SRL. SRL Configurations in one Slice (4 LUTs) 16x1, 16x2, 16x4, 16x6, 16x8 32x1, 32x2, 32x3, 32x4 64x1, 64x2 96x1 128x1

13 Shift Register LUT Example
20 Cycles Operation D - NOP must add 17 pipeline stages of 64 bits each 1,088 flip-flops (136 slices) or 64 SRLs (16 slices) Operation A Operation B 64 8 Cycles 12 Cycles 64 Operation C Operation D - NOP 3 Cycles 17 Cycles Because there are so many registers in FPGAs, pipelining is an effective method of designing to increase design performance. SRLs are ideal for this purpose. Because pipelines can sometimes become unbalanced, it may be necessary to delay branches of the pipeline (as in this example). In this example, you see a 64-bit bus processed through operations A, B, and C. A has a delay of eight cycles, B has a delay of twelve cycles, and C has a delay of three cycles. Because the data processed is also grouped at its output with a multiplexer, these data paths must be synchronized so that the appropriate data is compared at the multiplexer. To do this, the SRL can be used to delay the C operation by seventeen clock cycles; essentially, 17 “No Operation (NOP)” operations. If you were to do this with regular CLB registers, it would require 1,088 registers. If you use the SRL functionality instead, you only need 64 LUTs, each programmed for seventeen clock cycles of delay. Paths are Statically Balanced 20 Cycles

14 Three Types of Slices Three types of slices SLICEX SLICEX SLICEM
SLICEM: Full slice (25%) LUT can be used for logic and memory/SRL Has wide multiplexers and carry chain SLICEL: Logic and arithmetic only (25%) LUT can only be used for logic (not memory) SLICEX: Logic only (50%) LUT can only be used for logic (not memory) No wide multiplexers or carry chain In the Spartan-6 FPGA, ¼ of slices are SLICEM, ¼ are SLICEL, and ½ are SLICEX. One slice in each CLB is a SLICEX; the other alternates between SLICEL and SLICEM in adjacent columns. Therefore, there is only one carry chain in each CLB. Spartan-6 FPGA SLICEX SLICEX or SLICEM SLICEL

15 I/O Bank Structure Spartan-6 I/Os are located on the periphery
Every IOB contains registers for clocking data in and out of the device IOBs are grouped into banks 4 – 6 banks, depending on the density 30 ~ 83 I/O pins per banks IOBs require compatible I/O standards to be grouped into banks This is called the I/O Banking Rules Based on common VCCO, VREF More banks allows greater mixture of standards across the chip Clocking resources are specific to each bank Global and/or regional clocking resources Spartan-6 FPGA BANK

16 I/O Versatility Each I/O supports over 40+ voltage and protocol standards, including LVCMOS LVDS, Bus LVDS LVPECL SSTL HSTL RSDS_25 (point-to-point) Each pin can be input and output (including 3-state) Each pin can be individually configured IODELAY, drive strength, input threshold, termination, weak pull-up or pull-down Based on the I/O Banking Rules (some standards not compatible within the same bank) I/O standards will vary some by device family, so be sure to check your device data sheet. There is also a 3-state buffer available for each I/O pin. This typically implements 3-state outputs or bi-directional I/O. Each pin can also be single-ended.

17 I/O Electrical Resources
P and N pins can be configured as single- ended signals …or as a differential pair Transmitter available only in top and bottom banks (Bank0 and Bank2) Receiver available in all banks Receiver termination available in all banks Whether your pin is single-ended or differential will affect your pin layout Tx P Rx LVDS Termination Tx N Rx

18 IOB Element Input path Output path
Two DDR registers Output path Two 3-state enable DDR registers Separate clocks and clock enables for I and O Set and reset signals are shared To clock the DDR registers, remember that you can use any pair of the PLL or DCM outputs that are 180 degrees out of phase (such as the CLK90 and CLK270 outputs, likewise the CLK2X and CLK2X180, CLKFX and CLKFX180).

19 Interconnect to FPGA fabric
I/O Logical Resources Two IOLOGIC blocks per I/O pair Master and slave Can operate independently or be concatenated Each IOLOGIC contains… IOSERDES Parallel to serial converter (serializer) Serial to parallel converter (De-serializer) IODELAY Selectable fine-grained delay SDR and DDR resources Master IOLOGIC IOSERDES IODELAY Interconnect to FPGA fabric Slave IOLOGIC IOSERDES IODELAY

20 Flip-Flop Details Each flip-flop has four input signals FF
D – data input CK – clock CE – clock enable (Active High) SR – async/sync set/reset (Active High) Either Set or Reset can be implemented (not both) All eight flip-flops share the same control signals CE – Clock Enable SR – Set/Reset D CE SR Q FF CK

21 Design Tips FF1 Suggestions for faster and smaller designs FF8
Leverage the FPGAs Global Reset whenever possible Design synchronously Use synchronous Set/Reset whenever possible Don’t gate your clocks (use the CE, instead) Use the clock routing resources to minimize clock skew Use active-high CE and Set/Reset (no local inverter) D Q CE CK SR ● ● ● FF8 D Q CE CK SR

22 Software packs slices for optimum performance
Software intelligently packs logic Design FPGA LUT Slice Software places the logic and flip-flop in the same slice LUT LUT This process is called “related packing,” and is a function of MAP. It is always enabled. It will only be possible if the control signals associated with the FFs are identical. You can see the amount of related and unrelated packing by looking at the MAP report (map.mrp). Related logic and flip-flops are coded Software packs slices for optimum performance

23 Control Signals Different flip-flop configurations Case Design FPGA
If coded registers do not map cleanly to the flip-flops, the software tools will automatically implement the missing functionality by using LUT inputs Can increase overall LUT utilization, but can be helpful for fitting the design Case Design FPGA CE active Low Both Synchronous Set and Reset are used In earlier architectures (Virtex-4/Spartan-3 and earlier FPGAs), the slice flip-flops had additional features (inversion of the control signals, separate Set and Reset ports on each register). In Spartan-6 FPGAs, code that calls for these additional features are still supported; however, XST will automatically implement equivalent logic by using LUT resources. Both the inverter and OR gate shown in the examples above can be implemented using LUT resources. This may increase your overall LUT usage. For new designs, it is best to consider the capabilities of the flip-flops when coding. Xilinx recommends using active high resets and clock enables, and avoiding circuits that will require both Set and Reset controls. D Q CE CK CE D Q D CK D Q CK Sset SReset D D Q Sset SReset SR CK Software uses LUTs to map extra control functionality

24 Control Set Reduction Flip-flops with different control sets cannot be packed into the same slice Software can be instructed to reduce the number of control sets by mapping control logic to LUT resources This results in higher LUT utilization, but a lower overall slice utilization This feature can be controlled using the “Reduce Control Sets” synthesis option (this is an option you can experiment with). In some instances, the increased combinatorial logic can be combined with existing logic, or placed in an unused LUT connected to the flip-flop. The overall increase in LUT utilization may be small. Reducing the total number of slices used can be important to keep your FPGA design small. Design FPGA D Q D Q CK CK D Q CK D 3 Slices D Sset Q 1 Slice Sset CK D Q CK D D Q SReset SReset CK

25 Using the Slice Resources
Three primary mechanisms for using FPGA resources Inference Describe the behavior of the desired circuit using Register Transfer Language (RTL) The synthesis tool will analyze the described behavior and use the required FPGA resources to implement the equivalent circuit Instantiation Create an instance of the FPGA resource using the name of the primitive and manually connecting the ports and setting the attributes CORE Generator™ tool and Architecture Wizard The CORE Generator software and Architecture Wizard are graphical tools that allow you to build and customize modules with specific functionality The resulting modules range from simple modules containing few FPGA resources or highly complex Intellectual Property (IP) cores The above three mechanisms are used for all FPGA resources, including those that exist within the slice.

26 Inference All primary slice resources can be inferred by XST and Synplify LUTs Most combinatorial functions will map to LUTs Flip-flops Coding style defines the behavior SRL Non-loadable, serial functionality Multiplexers Use a CASE statement or other conditional operators Carry logic Use arithmetic operators (addition, subtraction, comparison) Inference should be used wherever possible HDL code is portable, compact, and easily understood and maintained Note that coding for an SRL with reset functionality will infer extra logic resources that will not only be significantly larger, but will require multiple clock cycles to clear.

27 Instantiation For a list of primitives that can be instantiated, see the HDL library guide Provides a list of primitives, their functionality, ports, and attributes Use instantiation when it is difficult to infer the exact resource you want For a list of possible configurations for the sequential elements, refer to the Libraries Guide on The Libraries Guide contains a list of all of the possible primitives and macros that Xilinx has to offer. All primitives and macros are listed in alphabetical order and include a schematic drawing, port names (for HDL instantiation), attribute names, a functional description, and a truth table on the behavior of the component. One of the benefits of using the Libraries Guide is that while inference of a resource can sometimes be challenging, you can always instantiate the primitive you want into your design. In fact, it is common practice to instantiate the high-end cores that are available. You should at least look at the document once. Just a quick skim gives you an idea of where to find information about all of the Xilinx primitives and will help you be more comfortable instantiating a primitive into their design. Another option available to you is to use the Architecture Wizard and CORE Generator software to instantiate particular primitives. These utilities allow you to customize components with GUIs and then copy the generated instantiation template into your design. The Architecture Wizard is used for adding common components, such as the Digital Clock Managers (commonly called the DCMs). The CORE Generator software is used to add larger components, such as filters, arithmetic components, and bus interfaces. Help  Software Manuals  Libraries Guides

28 CORE Generator and Architecture Wizard
The CORE Generator tool and Architecture Wizard can help you create modules with the required functionality Typically used for FPGA-specific resources (like clocking, memory, or I/O), or for more complex functions (like memory controllers or DSP functions)

29 Summary All slices contain four 6-input LUTs and eight registers
LUTs can perform any combinatorial function of up to six inputs or two functions of five inputs Four of the eight registers can be used as flip-flops or latches; the remaining four can only be used as flip-flops Flip-flops have active high CE inputs and active high synchronous or asynchronous Set/Rest inputs SLICEL slices also contain carry logic and the dedicated multiplexers The MUXF7 multiplexers combine LUT outputs to create 8-input multiplexers The MUXF8 multiplexers combine the MUXF7 outputs to create 16-input multiplexers The carry logic can be used to implement fast arithmetic functions The LUTs in SLICEM slices can also SRL and distributed memory functionality Manage your control set usage to reduce the size and increase the speed of your design

30 Where Can I Learn More? Software Manuals
Start  Xilinx ISE Design Suite 13.1  ISE Design Tools  Documentation  Software Manuals This includes the Synthesis & Simulation Design Guide This guide has example inferences of many architectural resources XST User Guide HDL language constructs and coding recommendations Targeting and Retargeting Guide for Spartan-6 FPGAs, WP309 Spartan-6 FPGA User Guides Xilinx Education Services courses Xilinx tools and architecture courses Hardware description language courses Basic FPGA architecture, Basic HDL Coding Techniques, and other Free Videos! Check out the Spartan-6 FPGA user guides and data sheets at

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