Wireless SoC Development
Wireless Designs have evolved from a simple layered architecture that separates Modem, MAC and higher layer algorithms to a highly complex cross layer architecture which couples higher layer algorithms and the baseband modem. In addition, massive MIMO brings about considerable challenges in creating an efficient cross layer architecture. FPGA SoC. ARM processor + FPGA fabric are well positioned to address cross layer architectural consideration in the Wireless Infrastructure space. Creating a SW-FPGA architecture partition is not trivial and requires an in-depth understanding of wireless algorithms and SoC architecture.
Its just not about FPGA or Processor
With heterogeneous architectures evolving, it is very important to carefully architect the total solution across Processor and FPGA. Data transfer between different computing elements in an Heterogeneous architecture is key to attaining performance. Efficient device drivers and DMA play a big role in extracting the performance. Carefully designed and scheduled DMA, Device drivers and of course FPGA RTL are key elements to a high performance implementation. More important is the ability to characterize the performance post implementation and in field to ensure performance bottlenecks do not impact system throughput. A holistic view of the entire system is needed to ensure the SW and FPGA work in synergy.
The development methodology is also key to a successful Wireless SoC design. A multitude of complex skills are required to put together a Wireless SoC and an effective methodology is needed to ensure abstraction, integration and synergy.