PrismTech ICO IP Core Helps FPGA Designers Develop Embedded Systems

PrismTech(TM), an acknowledged leader in the provision of state-of-the-art middleware and development tools, has announced an innovative solution that reduces the complexity of programming and integrating FPGAs in embedded systems. PrismTech’s Integrated Circuit ORB (ICO) is an IP core that provides standards-based CORBA protocol messaging for FPGA logic blocks. The patent application for this breakthrough technology has recently been published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Pub. No.: US 2007/0130570 A1).

“The highly optimized General Inter-ORB Protocol (GIOP) mechanism we have developed for FPGAs provides developers with an elegant solution to the inherent latency and overhead challenges of sending and receiving CORBA messages within a heterogeneous embedded computing environment,” said Steve Jennis, senior vice president of corporate development, PrismTech. “At PrismTech we develop new technologies that solve complex integration challenges. The filing of this patent further demonstrates our position as a leading innovator. ICO brings embedded middleware to FPGAs just as we’ve offered embedded middleware for GPPs and DSPs for several years.”

ICO provides standards-based CORBA communications to application components implemented in hardware devices such as FPGAs, ASICs and CPLDs without the use of resource-sapping proxies, a soft-core GPP or any other hardware abstraction layer necessary to facilitate integration. Thus ICO delivers an enormous gain in the performance and efficiency of data exchange within a multi-processor embedded system as well as a much easier development interface.

Key elements of PrismTech’s ICO:

  • GIOP processor — a VHDL/System-C/Verilog description of a GIOP protocol processor. The ICO is responsible for implementing the transfer syntax used in CORBA messages. The engine marshals and unmarshals GIOP messages and extracts header and data fields. Message data is transferred to and from the embedded application logic.
  • Open standard interface — an open architecture for being able to interface ICO with a variety of transport technologies.
  • IDL-VHDL Compiler — generates stubs and skeletons in VHDL from CORBA IDL, such that ICO can send and receive requests between clients and servants implemented in the software and hardware elements of radio modules.
  • VHDL component wrapper that implements the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) Resource for embedded application logic to provide compatibility with Software Defined Radio (SDR) requirements.
  • This technology is available as a COTS product from PrismTech as part of both the OpenFusion embedded middleware and Spectra SDR product families.

About PrismTech
PrismTech is an acknowledged leader in the provision of high performance middleware and tools that help developers of standards-based, carrier-grade systems to: minimize time-to-market, reduce costs, and enhance QoS. The Company provides solutions for applications ranging from net-centric enterprise integration to embedded real-time systems, in markets such as Telecom OSS, Defence C4I, and Software-Defined Radio. PrismTech’s customers constitute an impressive list of major systems integrators, network equipment providers and other OEMs, including many Fortune Global 500 companies. PrismTech was founded in 1992 and is a privately-held group with US operations based in Boston, MA and Saddle Brook, NJ, and European operations in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and France.

CORBA is a registered trademark of the Object Management Group, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. OpenFusion and Spectra are trademarks or registered trademarks of PrismTech.