Connecting FPGA Companion Chips to Intel ATOM CPUs

This Technical Brief introduces the options for connecting Field-Programmable Gate-Array (FPGA) devices via Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) to microprocessors such as the Intel ATOM microprocessor. Using FPGAs as companion chips adds flexibility to implement special-purpose I/O and efficient means for parallel and digital signal processing.

On the hardware side, we will describe the design options when using Altera Arria GX or Xilinx Virtex-5 devices. On the software side, we compare the performance of polling interfacing with Direct Memory Access (DMA) running under Linux.

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