You have been there before—and if not, you will be. After a seemingly infinite number of requirement changes and a schedule so short that you have given up all semblance of a life for the last two months, your design has finally passed all block and system-level simulations. You should be happy. But you are not. Because you are about to enter the most difficult, stressful, and aggravating part of any project: hardware/software integration.

Hardware/software integration is a sore spot at virtually every company. Just ask friends working for other companies; like the pointy-haired manager, hardware/software integration woes are universal. Take a stroll through the technical section of your local bookstore; you will find volumes about designing for high speed, real time, high performance, low power, and test. What you will not find is a book about designing for integration.

No one has figured out the magic formula for integration—not even Xilinx®. This article is not intended to be a cure-all for your integration woes, but we can show you a few ways to ease the pain.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / Third Quarter 2005. Article © Xcell Journal.