Embedded System Validation Planning - 2024.1 English

Versal Adaptive SoC System and Solution Planning Methodology Guide (UG1504)

Document ID
Release Date
2024.1 English

Embedded system designs require hardware and software co-design that target the embedded processor core, dedicated hardware engine, and programmable logic. Embedded system validation requires system-level debugging using the following AMD and third-party tools:

  • Vitis embedded software tools
  • Vitis AI Engine debugger
  • GNU debugger (GDB)
  • Arm® Development Studio (DS-5) debugger

The following table shows the purpose of each tool.

Table 1. Embedded System Validation Planning Debug Tools
Debug Tool Use for
Vitis embedded software tools
  • Manage source code
  • Compile source for a specific platform
  • Download source into hardware platform
  • Enable debugging
Vitis AI Engine debugger
  • Insert user-specific breakpoints in the code
  • Enable single stepping
  • Generate disassembly view of the code
  • Provide a memory dump based on the processor architecture and OS used
GNU debugger
  • Debug segmentation faults
  • Debug memory leaks in the code
Arm DS-5 debugger
  • Debug code running on Arm Cortex®-A72 and Cortex-R5F processors
  • Trace back source code where it is difficult to use single stepping or set up breakpoints due to a large code base

When designing your accelerators, be aware of the following:

  • If your embedded system design includes PL or AI Engine-based hardware accelerator blocks, design your accelerators using the AXI4 memory mapped or AXI4 streaming interface. Most Versal adaptive SoC IP is compatible with these protocols. In addition, adding debug integrated logic analyzer (ILA) IP using the Vitis tools flow is easier than adding ILA with native, non-AXI interfaces.
  • To debug the PL accelerator blocks, you must include ILA cores in the design.
  • If the accelerator design flow uses the Vitis compiler to link the accelerator blocks to the Vitis platform, you must enter additional command line arguments in the v++ -l stage to add ILA cores into the kernel interface.
  • To measure and debug accelerator performance, you can add the AXI Performance Monitor (APM) core to the platform. The APM core generates interface trace for AXI4 streaming and memory mapped interfaces, which shows kernel active time, idle time, and stall time. Depending on which block is causing the stall time, you can perform additional debugging focused on that block.