lightfoot is now available in the form of a core for Xilinx® FPGAs. Offered as part of the Xilinx AllianceCORE intellectual property program, the 32-bit processor operates from a tiny memory footprint, allowing designers to realise powerful control solutions for connected embedded systems without the cost and time associated with ASIC development.
lightfoot runs on Xilinx Spartan-II®, Virtex-E and Virtex-II FPGAs - achieving performance levels of over 40 MIPs for the latter device - and requires just 1710 'CLB slices' of Xilinx logic. This equates to around 3% of a top-of-the-line Virtex-II!
The core is compatible with J2ME and JavaCard and executes native Java bytecodes directly in hardware, providing an exceptionally efficient means of exploiting the benefits of the language in real-time systems. It also supports C, providing a practical means of migrating legacy code to new-generations of embedded system architectures.
The processor architecture and virtual machine employ a number of proprietary features to speed up and simplify Java language execution, resulting in higher code density than either competitive embedded Java cores, or conventional processors running Java. These features allow the processor to execute most bytecodes in a single instruction cycle, effectively making all code inline and avoiding the "code bloat" that can plague traditional Java implementations.
Users can create custom instructions, without making any changes to the supplied FPGA netlist - further boosting the efficiency and flexibility of the lightfoot solution.
In addition to providing the processor netlist and support information specified by the AllianceCORE program, DCT offers a developer's board.
Development cards cost $399, and evaluation licenses start from $5,000.