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Hardware Control Signals

Streaming Interface with Valid Signal

DSP System Toolbox™ blocks and functions process matrices of data. In hardware, processing a large matrix of data at one time has a high cost in memory and area. To save resources, serial processing is preferable in HDL designs. DSP HDL Toolbox™ blocks use a streaming sample interface that represents the characteristics of a physical signal. This interface means the blocks operate on one sample at a time, or on a small vector of samples at a time, rather than a large matrix. The blocks accept and return this streaming data accompanied by a control signal that indicates when the data is valid. You can model real-world data patterns such as sample rates or bursty data by using this valid control signal. One valid signal applies to all values in an input or output vector.

This waveform shows the input and output signals of the CIC Decimator block. The block is configured with a decimation rate of 2. The input data is valid every second cycle. The block decimates this signal and returns valid output data every fourth cycle.

Waveform that shows valid signals being used to indicate signal rate at the input and output of a decimator.

You can increase throughput by using frame-based data streams that pass vectors of signals through the blocks and System objects. Frame-based processing increases throughput by implementing the algorithm in parallel on each sample in the input vector. These implementations increase data throughput while using more hardware resources compared to scalar streaming algorithms. Most algorithms in DSP HDL Toolbox support input and output vectors of up to 64 samples, but your vector size might be further limited by the resources available for your design. For details of frame-based support in DSP HDL Toolbox, see High-Throughput HDL Algorithms.

Backpressure Signal

Some DSP HDL Toolbox blocks provide a backpressure output control signal, named ready. This signal indicates when the block has room for a new input sample. This signal is necessary because these blocks cannot accept new samples while performing certain internal computations or when internal storage is full, and the latency of those computations can vary with the configuration of the block.

For example, when you use the burst architecture of the FFT block, you cannot provide the next frame of input data until memory space is available. The ready signal indicates when the algorithm can accept new input data. When ready is 1 (true), you can apply input data and valid signals. The algorithm ignores any input data and valid signals when ready is 0 (false). The waveform shows the ready signal is 1 at the start of simulation, then goes low when the block receives the first burst of input data. Then, while the block is processing that burst of data, the ready signal stays low. When the block has room for new input samples, it sets the ready signal to 1 again. Once the ready signal is high, the model can apply the next burst of input data.

For an example of how to use the ready signal with interpolators, see Control Data Rate Using Ready Signal.

Reset Signal

Most DSP HDL Toolbox blocks provide an optional input reset signal that clears internal states. You can also connect the global reset signal from HDL Coder™ tools to your designs. These are some considerations for using the reset signal options.

  • By default, the filter blocks connect the generated HDL global reset to only the control path registers. The two reset parameters, Enable reset input port and Use HDL global reset, connect a reset signal to the data path registers. Because of the additional routing and loading on the reset signal, resetting data path registers can reduce synthesis performance.

  • The Enable reset input port parameter enables the reset port on the block. The reset signal implements a local synchronous reset of the data path registers. For optimal use of FPGA resources, this option does not connect the reset signal to registers targeted to the DSP blocks of the FPGA.

  • The Use HDL global reset parameter connects the generated HDL global reset signal to the data path registers. This parameter does not change the appearance of the block or modify simulation behavior in Simulink®. The generated HDL global reset can be synchronous or asynchronous depending on the HDL Code Generation > Global Settings > Reset type parameter in the model Configuration Parameters. Depending on your device, using the global reset might move registers out of the DSP blocks and increase resource use.

  • When you select the Enable reset input port and Use HDL global reset parameters together, the global and local reset signals clear the control and data path registers.

Reset Considerations for Generated Test Benches

  • FPGA-in-the-loop initialization provides a global reset but does not automatically provide a local reset. With the default reset parameters, the data path registers that are not reset can result in FPGA-in-the-loop (FIL) mismatches if you run the FIL model more than once without resetting the board. Select Use HDL global reset to reset the data path registers automatically, or select Enable reset input port and assert the local reset in your model so the reset signal becomes part of the Simulink FIL test bench.

  • The generated HDL test bench provides a global reset but does not automatically provide a local reset. With the default reset parameters and the default register reset Configuration Parameters, the generated HDL code includes an initial simulation value for the data path registers. However, if you are concerned about X-propagation in your design, you can set the HDL Code Generation > Global Settings > Coding style > No-reset register initialization parameter in Configuration Parameters to Do not initialize. In this case, with the default block reset parameters, the data path registers that are not reset can cause X-propagation on the data path at the start of HDL simulation. Select Use HDL global reset to reset the data path registers automatically, or select Enable reset input port and assert the local reset in your model so the reset signal becomes part of the generated HDL test bench.

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