"Building Integrated ARINC 429 Interfaces using an FPGA"

Ian Land
Actel Corporation


The demand for custom logic within today’s avionics industry has led to the increase of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) in these electronic systems. This demand, along with technological advances in size and speed, are resulting in the integration of multiple electronic systems into one chip. ARINC 429, a mature avionics standard and still a very popular communications bus in commercial aircraft, is one such system that is now being integrated with other functions in one chip. To accomplish this, designers are starting to look to pre-built Intellectual Property (IP) to build these System-on-a-Chip (SOC) FPGA designs. An ARINC 429 bus interface is used in systems that require a host processor controller. This paper discusses the integration of a host processor with an ARINC 429 intellectual property core. The bus interface and its host processor functions can both be implemented within one FPGA using pre-built IP to ease integration and shorten the system design process. An ARINC 429 example is given that incorporates a high performance, synthesizable 8-bit 8051 microcontroller core as the host processor.


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