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Design hardware with Python

Project description

Chips - 2.0

Chips is a high level, FPGA design tool inspired by Python.

Design components in C, design FPGAs in Python

In Chips, a design resembles a network of computers implemented in a single chip. A chip consists of many interconnected components operating in parallel. Each component acts like a computer running a C program.

Components communicate with each other sending messages across buses. The design of a chip - the components and the connections between them - is carried in Python.

Chips come in three parts:

  1. A Python library to build and simulate chips by connecting together digital components using high speed buses.
  2. A collection of ready made digital components.
  3. A C-to-hardware compiler to make new digital components in the C programming language.

Work at a higher level of abstraction

In Chips, the details of gates, clocks, resets, finite-state machines and flow-control are handled by the tool, this leaves the designer free to think about the architecture and the algorithms. This has some benefits:

  • Designs are simpler.
  • Simpler designs take much less time to get working.
  • Simpler designs are much less likely to have bugs.

With Chips the batteries are included

With traditional Hardware Description Languages, there are many restrictions on what can be translated into hardware and implemented in a chip.

With Chips almost all legal code can be translated into hardware. This includes division, single and double precision IEEE floating point, maths functions, trig-functions, timed waits, pseudo-random numbers and recursive function calls.

Python is a rich verification environment

Chips provides the ability to simulate designs natively in Python. Python is an excellent programming language with extensive libraries covering many application domains. This makes it the perfect environment to verify a chip.

NumPy , SciPy and MatPlotLib will be of interest to engineers, but thats just the start .

Try it out

Why not try the Chips web app.

Install from github

$ git clone --recursive
$ cd Chips-2.0
$ sudo python setup install

Install from PyPi

$ pip-install chips

Project details

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