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At the Xilinx Developer Forum in San Jose, Arm announced its collaboration with Xilinx, the market leader in FPGAs. The collaboration plans to bring the benefits of Arm Cortex-M processors to FPGA through the Arm DesignStart program, thus providing scalability and a standardized processor architecture across the Xilinx portfolio.

Users can expect a fast, completely no-cost access to soft processor IP, while taking advantage of the easy design integration with Xilinx tools and comprehensive software development solutions to accelerate success on FPGA. These processors will enable embedded developers to design and innovate confidently, while benefiting from simplified software development and superior code density. In addition, products can be easily scaled on these processors, thanks to the support of the broadest technology ecosystem of software, tools, and services provided by the team.

Arm for FPGA comes with the following benefits:

#1 Maximum choice and flexibility

Users can obtain an easy and instant access to Cortex-M1 and Cortex-M3 soft processor IP for FPGA integration with Xilinx products. They will not be charged any license fee or royalties for this access.

#2 Reduced software costs

The processor focuses on reducing software costs while obtaining maximum reuse of software across an entire OEM’s product portfolio on a standardized CPU architecture, scaling from single board computers through to FPGAs.

#3 Ease of design

The team has ensured an easy integration with Xilinx system and peripheral IP through Vivado Design Suite. They use a drag-and-drop design approach to create FPGA systems with Cortex-M processors. The extensive software ecosystem and knowledge base of others designing on Arm, will ultimately result in reducing the time to market for these processors

#4 Measures to Combat FOSSi (free and open source silicon) threat

Arm Cortex-M1 includes a mandatory license agreement, which contains clauses against reverse-engineering. The clause also prevents the use of these cores for comparative benchmarking. These clauses will assist Arm to enable IP holds up against the latest and greatest FOSSi equivalents (like RISC-V) when running on the same FPGAs.

This is not the first time that Arm has raised its voice against FOSSi threats. Earlier this year, they had also launched an aggressive marketing campaign specifically targeting RISC-V.

The Arm and Xilinx collaboration will enable developers to take advantage of the benefits of heterogeneous computing on a single processor architecture. To know more about this news, head over to Arm’s official blog.

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