Some notes, files & tutorials to finally play with a SmartFusion2 device from Microsemi (Microsemi Creative Board)
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README.md

README.md

Microsemi SmartFusion2 tutorial

Introduction

I've been interested in heterogeneous SoCs we can find on the market for quite some time. The two main FPGA manufacturers (Intel/Altera and Xilinx) both propose an architecture based on a FPGA and ARM Cortex-A9 processors.

Another manufacturer (Microsemi) proposes SmartFusion2 which are devices including a Cortex-M3 processor:

  • The Cortex-A9 may be oversized for simple applications...
  • Cortex-M devices include different debug options compared to Cortex-A.

Libero SoC tools

Microsemi dev tools are known as Libero SoC.

screen

You can see that the GUI is quite similar to Vivado: toolbar on the left, block diagram creation in the main tab, etc.

Installing Libero

I'm going straight to the point (avoiding errors in the installation process...). At this moment, the stable version of Libero is 11.8. In order to have a clean install on a Windows-based computer, please install (in this order):

Now, everything should be OK. Just look at the license section to add your license file.

Boards

Microsemi offers different development kits with a SmartFusion2 device. First, I had my hands on the SmartFusion2 Starter Kit: more precisely, the SF2060-STARTER-KIT with a M2S060-FGG484 device. Unfortunately, the free license available with M2S060 does not allow FPGA synthesis...

I've had the opportunity to get a Microsemi Creative Board.

  • Still a SmartFusion2 device (M2S025).
  • Arduino and Zigbee headers.
  • M2S025 is available with a free Silver license allowing us to synthesize stuff!

In the rest of this repository, I'll be using the SmartFusion2 Creative Board for examples/tutorials.

Licences

device license

Go on the wiki to start playing with the board

Have a look at here to get to the wiki homepage.