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Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 88: SDSoC Part 4—a look under the hood

by Xilinx Employee on ‎06-22-2015 10:40 AM (14,325 Views)

 

By Adam Taylor

 

Having now demonstrated that we can achieve excellent performance improvements with the Xilinx SDSoC development environment with just the simple click of a mouse, I would like to look a little deeper into how SDSoC performs this trick.

SDSoC accelerates functions within the PL (programmable logic) side of the Zynq SoC using something called the “connectivity framework,” which describes the logical and physical connections between the PL and PS (processor system) sides of the device. Unsurprisingly, SDSoC includes an API to allow transfers using this framework.

 

Of course the first question that should spring to mind is, “How does the tool know what logical and physical connections are available?” After all, it varies from one system implementation to the next. SDSoC achieves this feat by using two platform definitions: one defines the hardware and the other the software. Within the hardware platform, we will find the definition of the base platform as created in Vivado. So we will see:

 

 

  • Clocks – All clocks used within the SDSoC platform must be from the processor clocks
  • Resets – The number of resets available
  • Interrupts - The number of interrupts available
  • AXI – The number of AXI and AXI-Streaming connections available

 

 

The hardware description can be generated using Vivado and SDSoC.

 

The software descriptions provide SDSoC with information on:

 

 

  • Boot Files depending upon the Operating System
  • Library packages
  • Prebuilt hardware definitions – this saves on compile time.

 

 

What this means is that we can still develop a base platform using Vivado—if desired—using custom peripherals and then export the platform to SDSoC, allowing SDSoC to use the uncommitted AXI ports, etc. to produce a higher performing system. So SDSoC increase the performance of pre-existing designs, if you so desire. That’s pretty powerful.

SDSoC implements its connectivity framework with the above information and configuration.

 

So how does it work?

 

When you select a function to accelerate a function as we did previously with the mmult() function, SDSoC will:

 

 

 

  1. Employ Vivado HLS to generate logic for the PL side of the Zynq SoC
  2. Analyze communications to and from the function
  3. Establish an AXI communication network based upon the above analysis
  4. Generate a software stub function for the function being accelerated

 

 

It is this stub function that is actually called in place of the accelerated function. While the software interfaces to the stub function remain identical, its functionality is quite different. The stub function uses the connectivity framework to initialize and send/receive data to and from the PL hardware where the accelerated function now resides.

 

How the connectivity framework works is really exciting. It uses implementation-independent software API calls to synchronize data transfers to and from the PL. When the code is built, these calls are then translated to the correct drivers based upon the configuration of the AXI network created.

 

Over the next few weeks we will look at how we can optimize performance even more, now that we understand a little more about how SDSoC works.

 

 

 

 MicroZed Chronicles.jpg

 

 

 

Now, you can have convenient, low-cost Kindle access to the first year of Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles for a mere $7.50. Click here.

 

 

Please see the previous entries in this MicroZed Chronicles series by Adam Taylor:

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 87: Getting SDSoC up and running Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 86: Getting SDSoC up and running

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 85: SDSoC—the first instalment

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed(ish) Chronicles Part 84: Simple Communication Interfaces Part 4

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed(ish) Chronicles Part 83: Simple Communication Interfaces Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed(ish) Chronicles Part 82: Simple Communication Interfaces Part 2

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed(ish) Chronicles Part 81: Simple Communication Interfaces

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 80: LWIP Stack Configuration

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Chronicles Part 79: Zynq SoC Ethernet Part III

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Chronicles Part 78: Zynq SoC Ethernet Part II

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Microzed Chronicles Part 77 – Introducing the Zynq SoC’s Ethernet

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 76: Constraints for Relatively Placed Macros

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 75: Placement Constraints – Pblocks

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 73: Physical Constraints

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 73: Working with other Zynq-Based Boards

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 72: Multi-cycle Constraints

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 70: Constraints—Clock Relationships and Avoiding Metastability

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 70: Constraints—Introduction to timing and defining a clock

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 69: Zynq SoC Constraints Overview

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 68: AXI DMA Part 3, the Software

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 67: AXI DMA II

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 66: AXI DMA

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 65: Profiling Zynq Applications II

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 64: Profiling Zynq Applications

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 63: Debugging Zynq Applications

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 62: Answers to a question on the Zynq XADC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 61: PicoBlaze Part Six

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 60: The Zynq and the PicoBlaze Part 5—controlling a CCD

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 59: The Zynq and the PicoBlaze Part 4

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 58: The Zynq and the PicoBlaze Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 57: The Zynq and the PicoBlaze Part Two

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 56: The Zynq and the PicoBlaze

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 55: Linux on the Zynq SoC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 54: Peta Linux SDK for the Zynq SoC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 53: Linux and SMP

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 52: One year and 151,000 views later. Big, Big Bonus PDF!

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 51: Interrupts and AMP

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 50: AMP and the Zynq SoC’s OCM (On-Chip Memory)

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 49: Using the Zynq SoC’s On-Chip Memory for AMP Communications

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 48: Bare-Metal AMP (Asymmetric Multiprocessing)

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 47: AMP—Asymmetric Multiprocessing on the Zynq SoC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 46: Using both of the Zynq SoC’s ARM Cortex-A9 Cores

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 44: MicroZed Operating Systems—FreeRTOS

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 43: XADC Alarms and Interrupts 

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles MicroZed Part 42: MicroZed Operating Systems Part 4

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles MicroZed Part 41: MicroZed Operating Systems Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles MicroZed Part 40: MicroZed Operating Systems Part Two

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles MicroZed Part 39: MicroZed Operating Systems Part One

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles MicroZed Part 38 – Answering a question on Interrupts

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 37: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 8

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 36: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 7

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 35: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 6

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 34: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with MicroZed Part 5

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 33: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays with the Zynq SoC

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 32: Driving Adafruit RGB NeoPixel LED arrays

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 31: Systems of Modules, Driving RGB NeoPixel LED arrays

 

 Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 30: The MicroZed I/O Carrier Card

 

Zynq DMA Part Two – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 29

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Eight: Zynq DMA – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 28  

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Seven: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 27

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Six: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 26

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Five: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 25

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Four: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 24

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Three: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 23

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part Two: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 22

 

The Zynq PS/PL, Part One: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 21

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Four: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 20

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Three: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 19

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part Two: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 18

 

Introduction to the Zynq Triple Timer Counter Part One: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 17

 

The Zynq SoC’s Private Watchdog: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 16

 

Implementing the Zynq SoC’s Private Timer: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 15

 

MicroZed Timers, Clocks and Watchdogs: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 14

 

More About MicroZed Interrupts: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 13

 

MicroZed Interrupts: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 12

 

Using the MicroZed Button for Input: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 11

 

Driving the Zynq SoC's GPIO: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 10

 

Meet the Zynq MIO: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 9

 

MicroZed XADC Software: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 8

 

Getting the XADC Running on the MicroZed: Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles Part 7

 

A Boot Loader for MicroZed. Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 6 

 

Figuring out the MicroZed Boot Loader – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 5

 

Running your programs on the MicroZed – Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 4

 

Zynq and MicroZed say “Hello World”-- Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles, Part 3

 

Adam Taylor’s MicroZed Chronicles: Setting the SW Scene

 

Bringing up the Avnet MicroZed with Vivado

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author
  • Be sure to join the Xilinx LinkedIn group to get an update for every new Xcell Daily post! ******************** Steve Leibson is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Planning at Xilinx. He started as a system design engineer at HP in the early days of desktop computing, then switched to EDA at Cadnetix, and subsequently became a technical editor for EDN Magazine. He's served as Editor in Chief of EDN Magazine, Embedded Developers Journal, and Microprocessor Report. He has extensive experience in computing, microprocessors, microcontrollers, embedded systems design, design IP, EDA, and programmable logic.