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MicroBlaze Micro Controller System (MCS)

The MicroBlaze™ MCS core is a highly integrated processor system intended for controller applications. Data and program is stored in a local memory, debug is facilitated by the MicroBlaze Debug Module (MDM). A standard set of peripherals is also included, providing basic functionality like interrupt controller, UART, timers and general purpose input and outputs.

MicroBlaze MCS is delivered as a pre-configured system that includes the industry-leading MicroBlaze 32-bit RISC soft-processor pre-configured in 3-stage pipeline mode which has been further reduced in size by 5-20% depending on configuration compared to previous versions; local memory access, a coupled IO module, and a standard set of microcontroller peripherals. Through an easy-to-use graphical interface users can configure MicroBlaze MCS for optimum performance in the smallest possible footprint.

mb-mcs-diagram

MicroBlaze MCS delivers key features needed by smaller microcontroller systems, without imposing the overhead of more powerful embedded systems. Compare MicroBlaze and MicroBlaze MCS to find out which system is right for you:

  MicroBlaze MCS
MicroBlaze
Availability ISE (release 13.4 and later) and Vivado ISE and Vivado
Web Edition Available Yes Yes (1)
Cost
Free Free
Configurable Fixed Peripherals and I/O, processor configuration Up to 70 different configuration options
Pipeline 3-stage 3-stage or 5-stage selectable
Memory 4kB-64kB Local memory only (Block RAM) Local or External through virtual memory management up to 4GB
Streaming Ports No Yes
Debug Yes through MicroBlaze Debug Module (MDM) Yes through MicroBlaze Debug Module (MDM)
Peripherals UART, interrupt controller with optional low latency interrupts, 4 programmable interval timers, 4 fixed interval times, 4 general purpose outputs, 4 general purpose inputs, I/O bus Multiple peripherals are supported through the Embedded Edition IP catalog
AXI-4 bus connections No Yes
Software support Xilinx Software Development Kit (SDK) or other Eclipse-based IDE Xilinx Software Development Kit (SDK) or other Eclipse-based IDE

(1) - In ISE and Vivado WebPACK - MicroBlaze and MicroBlaze MCS are available device locked to the smallest  Zynq devices only.

Software development for MicroBlaze MCS is handled through the Software Design Kit (SDK) – the same design environment that supports both MicroBlaze and the Zynq-7000 SoC. And SDK is now available at no charge.

Availability

Microblaze MCS is delivered through the Vivado IP catalog, or the ISE CORE Generator with no need for IDS Embedded Edition, an Embedded Edition license or Xilinx Platform Studio (XPS). Now logic designers can configure and utilize a standalone processor-based system through either IDS Logic Edition.

User can opt for 2 step configuration flow, first one is to select pre-defined configuration as listed in Table 1 and then fine tune few select configuration options to suit exact use case.

Usage

MicroBlaze MCS is available as part of Vivado IP catalog and can be easily added in any project. For ISE, it is added as a source in Project Navigator or PlanAhead through CORE Generator. The MicroBlaze MCS configuration wizard aids the designer to configure any needed MCS peripheral as well as other system options.

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