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NIOSII design Vs Normal FPGA design


I am trying to understand when should we use nios ii in our design instead of directly designing the system on VHDL?

Also, what is the point of using nios processor if at the end we are going to code the application using C++ and then run it on nios processor?


My understanding is that when coding on C++ and then run it on nios ii , it is the same as if you run it on any other processor, so what is the point of using FPGA in this case? I mean in this case we are not utilizing the reconfigurability and parallelism strength of FPGA, right? or am I missing some thing?


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to clarify: this is given c++ is sequential language so it process every instruction then goes to the next and so on, so we are loosing the strength o FPGA or am I wrong?

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Hello Obadi,

We can see NIOS II as a real microcontroller that lives inside the FPGA, as you already know the FPGA has a specific logic region assigned to host the NIOS II hardware.

Once these have been told, I can give you a more accurate answer about why and when we should use NIOS II in our designs:

  • The FPGA has its owns logic gates that can be programmed to execute a specific function.
  • On the other hand, NIOS II allows you to run, for example, an RTOS
  • Nios II Processors propitiates flexibility in the implementation of the processor system such as the exact set of CPUs, interfaces, and peripherals needed for the application.
  • Increase the performance without changing your board design, in this way you are able to accelerate only functions that require it.
  • Lower power consumption due to many functions are combined into one chip.

Just to mention a few of the advantages.

Please let me know any questions you may still have.


-Eliath Guzman

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