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Anthony Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen

Embedded SoPC Design With Nios II Processor And...


  • Explores the unique hardware programmability of FPGA-based embedded systems, using a learn-by-doing approach to introduce the concepts and techniques for embedded SoPC design with Verilog An SoPC (system on a programmable chip) integrates a processor, memory modules, I/O peripherals, and custom hardware accelerators into a single FPGA (field-programmable gate array) device. In addition to the customized software, customized hardware can be developed and incorporated into the embedded system as well—allowing us to configure the soft-core processor, create tailored I/O interfaces, and develop specialized hardware accelerators for computation-intensive tasks. Utilizing an Altera FPGA prototyping board and its Nios II soft-core processor, Embedded SoPC Design with Nios II Processor and Verilog Examples takes a "learn by doing" approach to illustrate the hardware and software design and development process by including realistic projects that can be implemented and tested on the board. Emphasizing hardware design and integration throughout, the book is divided into four major parts: Part I covers HDL and synthesis of custom hardware

  • Part II introduces the Nios II processor and provides an overview of embedded software development

  • Part III demonstrates the design and development of hardware and software of several complex I/O peripherals, including a PS2 keyboard and mouse, a graphic video controller, an audio codec, and an SD (secure digital) card

  • Part IV provides several case studies of the integration of hardware accelerators, including a custom GCD (greatest common divisor) circuit, a Mandelbrot set fractal circuit, and an audio synthesizer based on DDFS (direct digital frequency synthesis) methodology

While designing and developing an embedded SoPC can be rewarding, the learning can be a long and winding journey. This book shows the trail ahead and guides readers through the initial steps to exploit the full potential of this emerging methodology. About the Author DR. PONG P. CHU is Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cleveland State University in Ohio. He has taught undergraduate- and graduate-level digital systems and computer architecture courses for more than a decade and has received instructional grants from the National Science Foundation and Cleveland State University. Permissions Request permission to reuse content from this site




Embedded SoPC Design with Nios II Processor and...



Nios II is a 32-bit embedded-processor architecture designed for Altera-FPGA board. In Fig. 13.1, various steps are shown to design the SoPC system on the FPGA board using Nios-II processor. In this chapter, these steps are discussed and a system is designed which displays the message on the computer and blinks one LED using FPGA board. Further, the outputs of this system is verified using Modelsim. It is recommended to read first two chapters before practicing the codes, as various issues related to the use of Nios software are discussed in these chapters.


Nios II is a 32-bit embedded processor architecture designed specifically for the Altera family of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) integrated circuits. Nios II incorporates many enhancements over the original Nios architecture, making it more suitable for a wider range of embedded computing applications, from digital signal processing (DSP) to system-control.


Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is a product that unifies sensor technology, embedded computing technology, distributed information technology and wireless communication technology. At present it already is foreseen that it would have widespread application domain and high value. The main research contents of this paper include: the design of wireless sensor nodes, the method of hardware-software co-design, the reuse and design of embedded IP cores, the date acquisition, and the communication network and so on. Firstly, the performance requirement and development trend of wireless multimedia sensor nodes are analyzed. For the application of farmland information monitoring system, one wireless sensor node based on the SOPC is proposed, which designed with the Nios II processor, wireless communication chip CC2430 and some sensors. The hardware circuit diagram of each main module is given. Secondly, some IP cores in the bottom of WSN are designed and implemented, which are the important parts of In-Node Processing and In-Node Communicating. Finally, the software framework of wireless sensor nodes based on SOPC is analyzed, and the main work flow diagram of the system is provided in the paper.


The Nios II processor contains a peripheral that implements the communication protocol with the DUT. The peripheral is divided into three logical modules: a module which implements the interface with the Avalon bus and the communication with the onchip RAM, a module which implements an Avalon master interface which is used to write data directly in the onchip RAM and a module which is the actual driver of the DUT. The driver can also be used as standalone in FPGA designs which do not contain a softcore. Following is presented a block diagram of the HDL driver and a description of the driver's interface signals.


The BeMicroSDK hardware is designed with a System ID peripheral. This peripheral is assigned a unique value based on when the hardware design was last modified in the SOPC Builder tool. SOPC Builder also places this information in the .sopcinfo hardware description file. The BSP is built based on the information in the .sopcinfo file.


The student who successfully completes the course: will master an advanced knowledge of the design of embedded systems realized as a programmable CPU, hardware coprocessors and peripheral interfaces to/from actuators/sensors; will be aware of the different design choices and metrics; will be able to explore the designs space and find the most appropriate solution given the specifications to be fulfilled; will have the ability to master the most advanced tools for the design and verification of the hardware and the software parts of the embedded system.


The student must demonstrate the ability to put into practice and to execute, with critical awareness, the design of an embedded system consisting of a computer and interfaces on a programmable device (System on a Programmable Chip - SoPC). The design includes the definition of the specification, the hardware/software partitioning, the realization of the computing hardware, the realization of the high-level software and the practical realization of a demonstrator, described in a written report.


EMBEDDED SYSTEMS ORGANIZATION. Embedded system definition. RISC processors computer architecture. Memory organization and pipeline. Cache memories. Peripherals. DESIGN TECHNIQUES AND METRICS. Embedded system hardware-software codesign. Design space exploration. Comparative evaluation of discrete CPU, CPU integrated on programmable logic, dedicated ASIC. SYSTEM ON A PROGRAMMABLE CHIP (SOPC). NIOS II architecture. Parallel port, interval timer, JTAG UART interfaces. The Avalon system interconnect fabric. The SoPC builder tools for the hardware design of the embedded system. SOFTWARE PROGRAMMING. Recalls on C language. Layered software organization: device drivers, hardware abstraction layer, C standard libraries. Interrupt handling and code optimization. 041b061a72


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