Tutorial - Converting an existing FPGA Design to the OpenBus System

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Until now, processor-based FPGA design has typically been performed with a schematic-bias, with all devices in the system layed out on a single schematic sheet. Such designs suffer an inherent complexity, in terms of readability and, more importantly, from a wiring and configuration perspective.

Using Altium Designer's OpenBus System feature can greatly reduce such complexity. The fundamental purpose of this system is to represent the processor-peripheral interconnections – in a much more abstract way. It achieves this by providing an environment in which to create your system that is both highly intuitive, streamlined, and less prone to error.

This tutorial takes you on a 'voyage of discovery', as you are introduced to the ins-and-outs of converting an existing schematic-based FPGA design to the OpenBus System.

The example OpenBus System created using this tutorial is based on the conversion of the existing example project DSF_Mandelbrot.PrjFpg. This project can be found in the \Examples\NB2DSK1 Examples\DSF Mandelbrot folder of your Altium Designer installation.

Follow each of the linked pages below, in sequence, to complete the tutorial and convert the design:

Although not a pre-requisite for this tutorial, should you wish to familiarize yourself with the concepts and workings of the OpenBus System, see Streamlining Processor-based FPGA design with the OpenBus System.

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