AN 886: Intel Agilex® 7 Device Design Guidelines

ID 683634
Date 10/09/2023
Document Table of Contents HPS Accesses to FPGA Fabric

There are two bridges available for masters in the HPS to access the FPGA fabric. Each bridge is optimized for specific traffic patterns and as a result determine which is applicable to your system if an HPS master needs to access the FPGA fabric.

GUIDELINE: Connect the HPS to soft logic peripherals in the FPGA through the Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge.

If your hardware design has peripherals that are accessible to the HPS then connect them to the Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge. Peripherals are typically accessed by the HPS MPU one register at a time using strongly ordered (non-posted) accesses. Since the accesses are strongly ordered, the transaction from the MPU does not complete until the response from the slave returns. As a result, strongly ordered accesses are latency sensitive so the Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge is included in the HPS to reduce the latency of strongly ordered accesses.

GUIDELINE: Connect the HPS to FPGA memory through the HPS-to-FPGA bridge.

If your hardware design has memory that is accessible to the HPS then connect it to the HPS-to-FPGA bridge. Unlike the Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge, the HPS-to-FPGA bridge is intended for bursting traffic such as DMA transfers or MPU software execution from FPGA memory.

GUIDELINE: If the HPS must access both memory and peripherals in your FPGA logic, use HPS-to-FPGA and Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge.

It is important to include both HPS-to-FPGA and Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge in your design if the FPGA logic contains a mix of memory and peripherals accessible to the HPS. Since peripheral accesses are typically latency-sensitive, using the Lightweight HPS-to-FPGA bridge for those accesses prevents starvation when other bursting accesses to the FPGA fabric are made through the HPS-to-FPGA bridge. Both bridge can be accessed in parallel if there are multiple HPS masters accessing the FPGA fabric at the same time so including both bridge can also improve the performance of the system.