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Introduction to Xilinx System Generator

Posted by in on 5-5-13

The Xilinx System Generator design flow is a fantastic tool for implementing digtial signal processing (DSP) designs in Xilinx FPGAs.

This video series will introduce Xilinx System Generator and cover the basic principles of the design flow.  The video will also contrast the System Generator design flow with typical HDL-only design flow.

The full video series (still under development) consists of several parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Creating a New Design and the Xilinx Blockset
  3. Designing DSP Algorithms for FPGAs with the Xilinx Blockset
  4. Driving FPGA Designs with Simulink Sources
  5. Capturing End and Intermediate Results Using the Wave Scope Block
  6. Capturing End and Intermediate Results Using the MATLAB Environment
  7. Examining Timing Performance
  8. Generating Implementation Files
  9. Setting Up a Hardware Co-Simulation using a Xilinx Development Board
  10. Communicating Data Between the MATLAB Environment and a Hardware Co-Simulation
  11. Opening a Design for Hardware Co-Simulation
  12. Running a Design in Hardware Co-Simulation

The video outline is located below the video.


  • What is Xilinx System Generator

  • Design flow using system generator

  • Why use system generator for DSP designs

  • Design outputs from system generator

What Is Xilinx System Generator

  • Xilinx System generator is a design methodology for creating digital signal processing designs for FPGA.

  • Integrates MATLAB/Simulink with Xilinx design tools to target Xilinx FPGAs

    • Design Flow

    • Compare Traditional HDL vs System Generator

    • Typical HDL design flow

  • Create floating point algorithm models

  • Verify floating point algorithm operation in MATLAB

  • Implement fixed point design in Verilog or VHDL (create floating point design)

  • Verify HDL outputs in MATLAB (re-verify algorithm)

  • Target FPGA and deploy

System generator design flow

  • Create floating point test signals

  • Create FPGA design using Xilinx blocks in Simulink

  • Simulate design and verify outputs

  • Target FPGA and deploy

  • System Generator Design Environment

Why Use System Generator for DSP Designs

  • Reduction of algorithmic design to implementation time

  • Design, simulate, verify and target FPGA in one step


  • Simulink simulation

  • Timing, resources, and power

  • Implementation files (bit, .ngc, etc)

  • Hardware co-simulation using Xilinx development boards (or custom)

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