A computer program defines an XML schema for specifying the interface to a generic FPGA from the perspective of software that will interact with the device. This XML interface description is then translated into header files for C, Verilog, and VHDL. User interface definition input is checked via both the provided XML schema and the translator module to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Currently, programming used on both sides of an interface is inconsistent. This makes it hard to find and fix errors. By using a common schema, both sides are forced to use the same structure by using the same framework and toolset. This makes for easy identification of problems, which leads to the ability to formulate a solution.

The toolset contains constants that allow a programmer to use each register, and to access each field in the register. Once programming is complete, the translator is run as part of the make process, which ensures that whenever an interface is changed, all of the code that uses the header files describing it is recompiled.

This work was done by Elizabeth R. Boroson of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-46447.

Software Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2009 issue of Software Tech Briefs Magazine.

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