Tuesday, July 01, 2008

FPGA Editor and Googe Maps

Another Israeli FPGA guy named Eli Billauer produced a video explaining how to use FPGA Editor. Now that you watched that video, load up FPGA Editor and click on "Help -> Help Topics" to compare your learning experience. Video feature documentation is a great project for an intern.

FPGA Editor should feel more like Google Maps. Consider the application specifcation for FPGA Editor and Google Maps: you must navigate a complex map of billions of paths and locations, able to search for specific locations by name or nearby locations by keyword/type (I think FPGA editor has this), easily access external information about specific nodes, auto-route optimal paths between nodes.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the application specs is that FPGA Editor is intended to consider the additional constraint that multiple nets may not share the same path and fan-out distribution is different from the traveling-salesman routing done in Google Maps.

In any event, Google Maps should probably be considered the "standard" interface for these types of things. I wonder how easily searching for "nearby restaurants" could become "nearby blockrams."

1 comment:

jason said...

I think this is a great starting point for discussion. A direct analogy between Gmaps and FPGA Editor isn't always possible, however, as the synthesizer may rip apart node names in the process of flattening and optimizing them. It used to be worse, the output names used to be completely cryptic, however things have gotten better. But you're right on the mark that the interface, speed, and ease of the tool should be much improved.