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GoAhead - A Partial Design Tool

GoAhead is a powerful tool for implementing partially reconfigurable systems. It supports basically all recent Xilinx FPGAs. The tool has some distinct features that are not available in the PR tool chain provided by the FPGA vendor Xilinx including:

  • Decoupling of partial modules from the static design (partial modules and the static design can be implemented completely independent to each other)
  • Module relocation and multi-module instantiations
  • Module integration without logic overhead (no bus macro or proxy logic required)
  • Hierarchical reconfigurartion (a PR module inside a PR module)
  • Communication architecture generation for hosting multiple PR modules simultaneously in the same PR region

GoAhead GUI

We are currently in the release phase of the tool. GoAhead has been rudimentary tested together with Xilinx Virtex-5/6 devices. However, we implemented quite complex systems on Spartan-6 FPGAs (with relocatable video and audio modules as well as with a MIPS CPU that features custom instruction set extensions). For that device, the tool is working very stable. We are currently building a larger scaled system on a Maxeler Max-3 card with a 512 bit wide datapath on a Virtex-6 xc6vsx475t FPGA. So please follow us up.

GoAhead is a fully reimplemented issue of the tool ReCoBus-Builder. The new version targets portability to newer devices and improved usability. This includes a scripting interface for running the tool in batch mode. The original ReCoBus-Builder project was done by Christian Beckhoff and Dirk Koch at the group Hardware/Software Co-Design at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany).