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Testing AXI custom component

Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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Hello All, 

What kind of support have Altera for testing custom user component with AXI4-Lite interface? There is AXI BFM? 

Thanks
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
1,081 Views

 

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There is AXI BFM? 

 

--- Quote End ---  

 

Yes, but it costs extra. The license is for the Mentor Graphics AXI BFM. Xilinx has a similar policy, but their third party BFM is from Cadence. 

 

I'm not sure why both Altera and Xilinx have decided to use AXI, and then not provided their customers with a free BFM for verification. I have not really looked into using AXI because of this issue. 

 

It would be nice to see an open-source AXI BFM. If anyone knows of one, please post to the list. 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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I am using AXI for my components because I can interconnect it to NIOS throught adapter, ARM natively and Microblaze on Xilinx stuff :) 

I have a design that should run on Altera AND Xilinx devices. 

 

Yeah, would be nice to see a free/open AXI BFM
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
1,081 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

I have a design that should run on Altera AND Xilinx devices. 

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Yes, and Microsemi too :) 

 

 

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Yeah, would be nice to see a free/open AXI BFM 

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Here is an AXI4-Lite verification suite ... I have not tried it ... please post your impression if you look at it 

 

http://syswip.com/axi4-lite-verification-ip 

 

Cheers, 

Dave
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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I had an awful time integrating AXI in with the HPS. What I found: 

 

1) No TID conversion, so your module should store the TID with each transaction to push it back out to BID. This is because the AXI module TID needs to match the HPS TID 

 

2) I wasn't able to get the address space to convert correctly when using an AXI component. Instead of translating the address, Qsys was just passing through the lower address lines. 

 

If someone has used AXI with Qsys and the HPS, I'd love to know, as I really had no luck after spending a week+ debugging Qsys issues with the interconnect. 

 

I was seeing that while Qsys DOES support AXI, there seem to be several undocumented limitations. 

 

EDIT: Not to mention that there is an AXI Timeout bridge that should be used, but there is no Linux kernel module for it or integration with memory writes/reads.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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I had an awful time integrating AXI in with the HPS. What I found: 

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I currently have a ticket in with Altera. I'll post whatever I hear in the forum once I get a response.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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--- Quote Start ---  

I currently have a ticket in with Altera. I'll post whatever I hear in the forum once I get a response. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

Hi Derim,  

Did you get any solution?  

 

I am working on a AXI custom components too, it works if for each transaction I use the "handshake" between the master and the slave with the valid and ready signals, but when I use the burst transaction everything stops work. I thought that I am facing problems related to the clock signal, but after what you have said in the previous post it seems that the problems are more and they cannot be found just in the manual.  

 

Any tips is welcome.  

Cheers.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
1,081 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

Hi Derim,  

Did you get any solution?  

 

I am working on a AXI custom components too, it works if for each transaction I use the "handshake" between the master and the slave with the valid and ready signals, but when I use the burst transaction everything stops work. I thought that I am facing problems related to the clock signal, but after what you have said in the previous post it seems that the problems are more and they cannot be found just in the manual.  

 

Any tips is welcome.  

Cheers. 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

I'd suggest a project with just the HPS and your component, and then hammer on it using SignalTap. Burst is more complicated, so my first question is always going to be whether or not your AXI component works correctly-- ARM offers UVM files to verify proper function that you can use to test your component. Otherwise, I'd say you're going to need to instrument it and look at where things are getting held up. Testbenching and simulation work wonders, if you have the time to spend on that as well.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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I have seen that the bridge between the axi component instantiated into qsys and the hps is very verbose! There are many componets auto-instantiated by qsys like a axi-avalon translator or something like that, did you try just to connect you component directly to the hps without using the qsys generated code? In other words have you tried just to instantiate in qsys the hps and outside the tool link it to your component?  

 

I will try for sure to debug it with signal tap! That is always a good idea.  

The verification environment provided as bfm in the quartus 15.1 and quartus 16.0 is not so straight forward to use, do you know what they mean for read/write and combined accepted capability?  

 

 

Thank you for any tips,  

Cheers. =)
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
1,081 Views

 

--- Quote Start ---  

I have seen that the bridge between the axi component instantiated into qsys and the hps is very verbose! There are many componets auto-instantiated by qsys like a axi-avalon translator or something like that, did you try just to connect you component directly to the hps without using the qsys generated code? In other words have you tried just to instantiate in qsys the hps and outside the tool link it to your component?  

 

I will try for sure to debug it with signal tap! That is always a good idea.  

The verification environment provided as bfm in the quartus 15.1 and quartus 16.0 is not so straight forward to use, do you know what they mean for read/write and combined accepted capability?  

 

 

Thank you for any tips,  

Cheers. =) 

--- Quote End ---  

 

 

In short: No. I needed a working system in too short a time frame to continue debugging. If I was designing now, I'd connect the HPS directly to any of my AXI components, and maybe even license an ARM switch IP instead of using Avalon to handle multiple components. My IP wasn't setup to handle TIDs correctly, and we switched to using the simpler Avalon bus architecture, so this became a non-issue for us. In addition, there's no multi-AXI command handling built in to the Linux kernel driver, so there is only one transaction active from the HPS to the fabric at any given point either way (I believe through communication with Altera). 

 

Not to mention that if you lose the FPGA clock and the AXI gets stuck, an HPS running Linux will freeze until an AXI transaction completes (this is part of AXI). Maybe adding a timeout that can reset the AXI bus could work.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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Altera doesn't really want to use axi. Axi is only really used by the arm subsystems and altera never really get much traction with it. And now being owned by Intel, arm SOCs will be dropped. Everything altera is Avalon and will remain so for a long time. 

 

You can download axi verification components for free from the arm website.  

 

https://www.arm.com/products/system-ip/amba-specifications 

 

If you have an expensive formal tool, you can verify your custom component against that, but if you can't afford the $50k for a licence, you can at least use it to test your custom component and home made axi bfm.
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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Hello tricky, 

 

I have invested a lot of time porting my designs to AXI. I am very sorry to hear this. 

I always have used some self-written procedures to test my AXI components. 

I have visited link but i haven't found "axi verification components", where do you have downloaded it? 

 

Thanks
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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You are completely correct-- it looks like everything has moved around on the site again. I know that it was necessary to have an ARM Silver account to download them, but there were verification components available for APB, AXI3, AXI4, AX4Stream. If I run in to them again I'll post a link here, unless Tricky has seen them recently.

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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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Altera_Forum
Honored Contributor II
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How about here: 

http://infocenter.arm.com/help/index.jsp?topic=/com.arm.doc.dui0534b/babidbde.html 

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That's definitely them. They've removed a couple of them (APB, AHB). Thanks Tricky!
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gyuunyuu1989
Beginner
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This post is now 6 years old. Just out of curiosity, does Intel actually plan to obsolete the ARM based SoCs? I do not understand what else they could use when Microsemi and Xilinx also use ARM. If ARM is present, AMBA buses will be required as well. Also, as far as I am aware, the AXI BFM is present in Quartus Prime by default.

 

This old post has confused me.

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sstrell
Honored Contributor III
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I doubt it (at least any time soon) since even the newest Agilex devices have SoC variants.  And yes, the AXI BFMs are included in Quartus.

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