January 2008 RAMP Retreat Initial Gateware Mostly things required for production testing and board characterization: Signal connectivity checks –Some are AC coupled, must test at speed –QSH tested with a crossover card Temperature and power supply monitoring DDR-2 Controller –Useful in other designs CX4 and PCI Express for at-speed tests Xilinx and others have lots of IP (alas, it either doesnt work very well, or is proprietary).
January 2008 RAMP Retreat Project Participants and Roles Microsoft Research (Silicon Valley) –Funds, manages system engineering, does some gateware Celestica (Ottawa and Shanghai) –Did main board engineering, prototype fabrication –Microsoft has a very deep relationship with Celestica BEECube –Builds and delivers functioning systems Function Engineering (Palo Alto) –Did thermal and mechanical engineering Xilinx (San Jose) –Provides FPGAs for academic machines –Provides FPGA application expertise Ramp Group (BWRC) –Control board, basic software Ramp Community –Uses the systems for research –Expanding to industrial users (e.g., us)
January 2008 RAMP Retreat Bring-up Status Most subsystems work: –Brought up a MicroBlaze on day 3 of bring-up –Ring wiring –10 Gbit channels Works, but requires respin to relocate MGTs –GB Ethernet –PCI Express
January 2008 RAMP Retreat Bring-up Status (2) DDR2 controller doesnt work (yet) –Largest piece of new IP –Works flawlessly in post-route simulation –Timing complete at 200 MHz. Problems: –Design is complex Six Verilog modules, including a 36-bit RISC Design turnaround is ½ hour (i.e., tools suck). Simulator is slow –Board testing uses ChipScope Which doesnt replace a scope Very difficult to probe