Diamond 2.0 software offers advanced support for LatticeECP4 FPGA family

The Diamond 2.0 design software has been developed to improve the overall user experience by enabling a more rapid design process and unveils a new, partition-based incremental design flow for LatticeECP3 FPGA devices.  This design flow will help users preserve design performance and reduce run time after a design change is made. 

“Lattice Diamond 2.0 software includes a complete set of easy to use, powerful design tools fine-tuned specifically for the unique logic fabric of our low power, low cost mid-range FPGAs.  We’ve added new capabilities like System Planner to support our innovative LatticeECP4 architecture and simplify the creation of complex high-speed 6 Gbps serial data transmission solutions without compromising cost targets,” said Mike Kendrick, Lattice’s Director of Software Marketing.

The Lattice Diamond design environment enables users to explore design alternatives easily as they target cost-sensitive, low power mid-range FPGA applications. The Diamond 2.0 software includes advanced data support for timing, power and packaging based on early silicon characterisation of the LatticeECP4-190 device.  In addition to algorithms that help ensure low cost and low power implementation, Lattice Diamond version 2.0 adds a new System Planner tool that enables users to optimize the resource usage of the twelve 6Gbps SERDES channels offered on the LatticeECP4 devices. 

In addition, the feature-rich power calculator tool provides settings for power save and standby modes, along with pre-emphasis configuration, to accurately analyse and estimate the power consumption of LatticeECP4 designs.  Version 2.0 also enables the generation of the LatticeECP4 device’s DSP blocks: the industry’s only FPGA-based high throughput, double data rate DSP blocks, which are ideal for low cost, high performance RF, baseband and image signal processing.

Achieving timing closure in the shortest amount of time can be a significant challenge as users put more and more functionality into a single FPGA.  When users make a change to their design, they need the FPGA design tool to preserve some of the critical timing results already achieved and to reduce the overall run time needed to implement the updated design.  Users of LatticeECP3 FPGAs can now use a partition-based incremental design flow to help preserve the performance of their design and reduce the time required for subsequent compile runs needed to implement small design updates.  This design flow re-uses previously compiled partitions — the ones untouched during the re-design — and re-compiles only the partitions where changes have been introduced.

In addition, in order to achieve fast timing closure, most users are typically required to properly constrain their design.  Lattice Diamond 2.0 software now includes an improved, unconstrained paths report that will enable users to more quickly identify and fill gaps in their design constraints. 

To help identify and correct pin usage issues early in the flow, a new pin usage Design Rule Check (DRC) engine was introduced with Lattice Diamond version 1.4.  With version 2.0, Lattice Diamond software now detects additional incorrect pin usage cases and supports the LatticeECP4 devices, in addition to the LatticeECP3, MachXO2 and LatticeSC device families.  This DRC engine operates either in real-time or on-demand.  It also outputs user-friendly reports that help correct pin usage issues by providing users with suggestions.

Lattice Diamond software incorporates Synopsys’ Synplify Pro advanced FPGA synthesis for Windows and Linux.  Aldec’s Active-HDL Lattice Edition II simulator is also included for Windows. 

Support for all Lattice devices is included not only in the OEM versions of Synplify Pro and Active-HDL, but is also available in the full versions of Synopsys Synplify Pro, Aldec Active-HDL and Riviera-PRO.  Mentor Graphics ModelSim SE and Precision RTL synthesis also support Lattice devices.

Lattice Diamond 2.0 software supports Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, and is now also provided as a 64-bit application for Windows 7 to increase memory capacity.  For Linux users, Lattice Diamond 2.0 now runs on Linux Red Hat 6 in addition to versions 5 and 4.

Lattice Semiconductor

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