If you have not setup Vitis, you should first go back and visit my last blog where I talk about setting up the build environment.
Once you are caught up, if you have used SDSoC, or SDACCEL, you can skip this paragraph. If not, let me help bring you up to speed.
Vitis, like previous generations of Software Acceleration techniques leverages HLS to allow you the user to write more simple C like code to create software accelerators.
The basic idea is that you create a piece of C code (or other supported language), then tag the code for acceleration and Vitis will take that code, and based on your defined performance needs create a solution space that utilizes the resources of your target platform to meet those needs. What is a platform? That is a definition of your target hardware. You can generate your own or you can use one of the provided platforms that Avnet maintains. The idea is, you create / validate / vet a single solution, then with a few clicks, can deploy this solution to many platforms. The nice part is you do not have to worry about resources. Maybe one solution uses UltraRam, but another cannot so the tool leverages BRAMS.
Regardless, you can take the same solution and target many different products through only a few mouse clicks.
So, how do we use this with Vitis?
Vitis has a few methods to do this. One is through the command line and one is through the GUI.
The first step is to have a place to keep all of our platforms. I suggest creating a folder ~/platforms or leveraging the platform_repo folder created when running the Avnet Vitis make scripting
You can also
- download the platforms and extract them to a folder (if you get them from someone else)
- copy from your /vitis/platform_repo BUILD folder (if you use the Avnet build scripting)
- even just USE the output folder from your platform generation!
The way the Avnet build scripts work, all platforms default to /vitis/platform_repo for easy use by customers as well as leveraging that repository for your own builds!
You can locate the "Vitis PetaLinux Platform" on the Product support pages under the Reference Designs Tab
I have also compiled a list of all supported platforms / BSP and other downloads for the Designed By Avnet products on this blog:
Here I have extracted the UltraZed-EG IOCC platform into my platforms repository.
The first way to work with the platforms, is using the GUI:
Create a new Application Project...
Fill in the Project name
Click Next, THEN click the +
Navigate to your folder where you extracted the platform folder and now all platforms that you have on your system will show up!
The next method is using the command line.
Having followed the Virtual Machine setup guide, you should have 3 setup / settings commands that you run prior to launching Vitis.
Those 3 commands work really well to get you a basic setup. However, in your build environment, if you are using a shared drive full of platforms to choose from, you might not want to click through the GUI over and over. A quick and easy way to DEFAULT Vitis to a specific folder is to use the PLATFORM_REPO_PATHS environment variable.
For example, setting this variable like this:
will actually default the GUI to always include platforms that are located in that folder! This would be the same as CLICKING all of the above steps in the GUI each time, except the tool does this each time it is loaded. As this is Linux, you could point this to any number of servers/shares/cloud drives, etc...as long as it is mapped to a folder and you have permissions to point to it. NOTE, for performance reasons, I suggest that this is a local folder or at the very least a HIGH speed link. In my testing, OVERALL my largest build machines end up taking the most time on IO access so anything to reduce this helps!
Look forward to my next Learning Vitis blog! We will talk about how to build an example application!