Meeting the Rapid Prototyping and Development Challenge
PetaLogix Collaborates to Help Meet Tight Design Deadline
T2Designs Inc., a Colorado-based design services firm, had a client in the scientific instrument industry developing a hand-held spectroscopy tool for materials measurement. Previous versions of the device required a laptop tether for graphical display, while the new device was to be entirely self-contained.
The client needed flexibility in hardware interfaces while also requiring a standards-based hardware and software platform. The combination of Embedded Linux on an FPGA looked like the right choice, and T2Designs sought a partner who could quickly deliver a Linux platform for their prototype, including hardware and software interfaces for the major subsystems.
Tom Tessier, Principal at T2Designs, contacted PetaLogix to scope the project work required to port PetaLinux to the target protoype board and develop the customer's hardware and software interfaces, including a QVGA color LCD display, USB host controller and user input.
By basing the prototype system on an existing Xilinx FPGA evaluation board, and developing a series of plug-in proto-modules for each of the major subsystems, T2Designs and PetaLogix prioritized and sequenced the development process, and had the client moving forward quickly. Leveraging the PetaLinux tools provided a mature platform for initiating application development before the hardware subsystems were completed.
PetaLogix developed the necessary VHDL IP cores, and integrated them into the embedded Linux platform, making maximum use of existing Linux kernel device and application support. The display subsystem used the standard Linux kernel frame buffer infrastructure and software toolkits, minimizing the amount of custom code and hardware development.
Within two weeks of starting the project, the client had received a working embedded Linux platform for their prototype system, and could begin software application development. Less than a month later the display subsystem was integrated and delivered, and the client was successfully developing their user interface code.
"At the time the schedule was very tight - PetaLogix had the experience to develop the board support, framebuffer and USB driver for this design; Petalogix helped us stay on our original target schedule and provided valuable insight so the team could focus on developing the spectrograph H/W IP and Application software."- Tom Tessier, T2Designs Inc.
Some late architectural changes were proposed by the client, and their impacts quickly accommodated by PetaLogix, will no distruption to the ongoing development effort, and within 6 months of initial contact the client had a complete development system consisting of a hardware and software platform, and development tools, ready to complete product development.