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Xilinx SystemACE vs. SystemBIST FPGA Configuration and embedded Test

SystemBISTTM is a vendor independent solution that configures any IEEE 1149.1 and IEEE 1523 complaint FPGA or CPLD regardless of what programmable logic vendor it comes from. The table below highlights the advantages of Intellitech's vendor independent SystemBIST solution over that of the Xilinx SystemAce offering.

Features Comment SystemBIST System ACE CF System ACE MPM System ACE SC
Memory Density SystemBIST has patent-pending configuration data re-use and compression that reduces amount of FLASH area.  Current CompactFLASH storage media for SystemACE result in high cost premiums are paid for CF storage above 256MB up to 2 Gbit up to 8 Gbit 16 Mbit
32 Mbit
64 Mbit
16 Mbit
32 Mbit
64 Mbit
Production FLASH  Programming SystemBIST uses patent-pending FAC (Fast Access Controller) for high-speed FLASH programming through external Eclipse tool.  Xilinx cable and speeds not suitable for production FLASH programming on-board FLASH programming as fast as off-board Separate CF programmer Xilinx or 3rd party programmer Xilinx or 3rd party programmer
Number of Components Part Count varies with amount of FLASH and SystemBIST Targets 2-3 2 1 3
Shared Memory with CPU FPGA configuration data and test images can be stored in the same FLASH as used by the CPU saving on parts, lowering cost of non-volatile memory needed for configuration and saving PCB area Yes No No No
Min board Space 1/2 of SystemBIST components can be mounted on back of PCB 9.6 cm2 25 cm2 12.25 cm2 custom
Cost per Mbit SystemBIST w/128Mbit FLASH $0.60-$.75 under $1 $1-3 $5-10
Compression SystemBIST reduces test and configuration data Yes No Yes Yes
Configuration Data Re-use SystemBIST also has patent-pending design data re-use unlike SystemACE. One 4Mbit FPGA design takes only 4Mbit regardless of how many instances occur in the PCB, system design or how many different design suites it exists in Yes No No No
Select Map Support Xilinx Proprietary - extra design time needed on multi-vendor PCBs.  While it is claimed SystemACE can program all the FPGAs across multiple PCBs, selectMAP cannot be used in that architecture no no SelectMAP for up to 4 FPGAs SelectMAP for up to 4 FPGAs
Slave Serial Support Slave Serial is no faster than SystemBIST.  Limited to 8 devices, SystemACE requires an ad-hoc design in order to address and configure FPGAs over a multi-slot, multi-PCB system no no Slave Serial up to 8 FPGAs Slave Serial up to 8 FPGAs
Uses IEEE 1149.1 Unlike SystemACE, SystemBIST drives the IEEE 1149.1 without adding its own boundary-register to the scan-chain Yes Yes No No
Configures all IEEE 1149.1 and IEEE 1532 devices SystemBIST configures all IEEE 1532 and IEEE 1149.1 devices Yes Xilinx FPGA only No No
Maximum number of devices that can be configured   unlimited, any vendor unlimited number of Xilinx FPGAs 4 Xilinx FPGAs in SelectMAP, 8 Xilinx FPGAs in serial 4 Xilinx FPGAs in SelectMAP, 8 Xilinx FPGAs in serial
Serial Configuration Speed SystemBIST is just as fast when compared to Xilinx Serial Master/Slave mode.  No specific advice is given from Xilinx on how to achieve 66Mbit performance on a PCB when the CCLK is distributed to 8 devices over a wide area 64Mbits/sec 16.7 Mbits/sec Max of 66Mbit/Sec for up to 8 devices Max of 66Mbit/Sec for up to 8 devices
Configuration Speed for 4 devices in selectmap mode SelectMAP is faster if your PCB design supports the higher data rates however it is Xilinx specific.  For multi-pcb designs, no help is given to achieve 152Mbit/sec over multiple PCBs and large distances. If more than 4 FPGAs are needed in the PCB design, a second SelectMAP controller is needed. N/A N/A 1mbit-152Mbit/sec 1mbit-152Mbit/sec
Maximum number of designs SystemBIST enables 15 design suites, which can contain any number of FPGA designs 15 Design & Test Suites, 1 reset Suite unlimited 8 Design Suites 8 Design Suites
FPGA configuration diagnostics With SystemACE, If an FPGA fails to configure no indication is given as to which FPGA failed.  The "Done" Pin needs to be examined to determine which FPGA failed configuration. Patent-Pending architecture of SystemBIST enables diagnostic codes for each FPGA configuration.  Per FPGA diagnostic code Entire PCB      Go/No-Go Entire PCB      Go/No-Go Entire PCB      Go/No-Go
FPGA configuration decision making/branching SystemBIST is a processor which can make decisions, adjust TCK rates, display text messages Yes simple sequencer simple sequencer simple sequencer
Automatic Error Handling The SystemBIST patent-pending architecture returns the PCB to a known safe state.   Upon detecting a configuration or test failure, SystemBIST will automatically branch to 'reset' or customer supplied handling routine Yes NO N/A N/A
CPLD in-system re-configuration SystemBIST enables in-the-field CPLD reconfiguration.  A separate mechanism must be designed when using SystemACE Yes no no no
CPLD in-system re-configuration diagnostics Separate diagnostic code for each CPLD that fails to configure Per CPLD diagnostic code N/A N/A N/A
On-board PCB test SystemBIST will perform all 1149.1 based tests on board Yes No No No
On-board PCB test diagnostics via 8 bit data bus or text messages via serial RS232 interface Yes No No No
On-board Failure Logging SystemBIST logs failures to FLASH memory automatically for later retrieveal by a CPU or Eclipse boundary-scan test tools Yes No No No
Support for dynamic scan-chains SystemBIST handles dynamic scan-chains introduced by 'linking' devices such as the Texas Instruments SPL, ASP, National Semiconductor Scan Bridge and Intellitech SRL Yes No N/A N/A
Non-Volatile Media Sharing CPU boot FLASH can be used for test and configuration data INTEL OR AMD no no no

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Xilinx and SystemACE are trademarks of Xilinx Inc.