FPGA Design

Accelerating Applications with the Vitis Unified Software Environment

Course Description

Learn how to develop, debug, and profile new or existing C/C++ and RTL applications in the Vitis™ unified software environment targeting both data center (DC) and embedded applications. Also learn how to run designs on the Xilinx Alveo™ accelerator card using Nimbix Cloud. The emphasis of this course is on:

  • Building a software application using the OpenCL™ API to run hardware kernels on Alveo accelerator cards

  • Building a software application using the OpenCL API and the Linux-based Xilinx runtime (XRT) to schedule the hardware kernels and control data movement on an embedded processor platform

  • Demonstrating the Vitis environment GUI flow and makefile flow for both DC and embedded applications

  • Describing the Vitis platform execution model and XRT

  • Describing kernel development using C/C++ and RTL

  • Utilizing the Vitis analyzer tool to analyze reports

  • Explaining the design methodology to optimize a design

What's New for 2020.1 

  • Updated for Vitis HLS tool usage for C-based kernel compilation

  • Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance: New module

  • Xilinx Card Utilities: New module

  • Alveo U50, U200, U250, and U280 board support in appropriate labs 



Upcoming Program

TechSource Systems is the
Sole Distributor and Authorised Training Partner of Mathworks Products

Level – AI 3  


Course Details

2 days ILT or 16 hours OnDemand

  • 22 lectures

  • 9 labs


Course Part Number – AI-ACCEL


Who Should Attend? – Anyone who needs to accelerate their software applications using FPGAs, SoCs (such as Zynq®-7000 SoCs, Zynq UltraScale+™ MPSoCs), and Versal™ ACAPs


  • Basic knowledge of Xilinx FPGA architecture 

  • Comfort with the C/C++ programming language

  • Software development flow


Software Tools

Vitis unified software environment 2020.1



  • Architecture: Xilinx Alveo accelerator cards, SoCs, and ACAPs

  • Demo boards: Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU104 board and Alveo accelerator card in Nimbix Cloud 

Skills Gained

After completing this comprehensive training, you will have the necessary skills to: 

  • Describe how the FPGA architecture lends itself to parallel computing

  • Explain how the Vitis unified software environment helps software developers to focus on applications

  • Describe the Vitis (OpenCL API) execution model

  • Analyze the OpenCL API memory model

  • Create kernels from C, C++, or RTL IP using the RTL Kernel Wizard

  • Apply host code optimization and kernel optimization techniques

  • Move data efficiently between kernel and global memory

  • Profile the design using the Vitis analyzer tool


2 Days

Course Outline

Day 1 

Vitis Tool Flow 

▪ Introduction to the Vitis Unified Software Platform

Explains how software/hardware engineers and application developers can benefit from the Vitis unified software environment and OpenCL framework. {Lecture}


▪ Vitis IDE Tool Overview

Describes the elements of the development flow, such as software emulation, hardware emulation, and system run as well as debugging support for the host code and kernel code. {Lecture, Labs}


▪ Vitis Command Line Flow

Introduces the Vitis environment makefile flow where the user manages the compilation of host code and kernels. {Lecture, Labs} 

Basics of Hardware Acceleration 

▪ Introduction to Hardware Acceleration

Outlines the fundamental aspects of FPGAs, SoCs, and ACAPs that are required to guide the Vitis tool to the best computational architecture for any algorithm. {Lecture} 

Alveo Data Center Accelerator Cards

▪ Alveo Data Center Accelerator Cards Overview

Describes the Alveo Data Center accelerator cards and lists the advantages of these cards and the available software solutions stack. {Lecture}


▪ Alveo Accelerator Card Ecosystem Partner Solutions Overview (Optional)

Outlines the partner solutions available in the cloud and on premises for Alveo Data Center accelerator cards. {Lecture}


▪ Getting Started with Alveo Data Center Accelerator Cards

Describes the hardware and software installation procedures for the Alveo Data Center accelerator cards. {Lecture}


▪ Introduction to the Nimbix Cloud

Describes the Nimbix Cloud, the availability of the Alveo Data Center accelerator cards in the Nimbix Cloud, and how to run a design on the Nimbix Cloud. {Lecture}


▪ Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance (Optional)

Describes the Xilinx Real-Time Video Server appliance reference architectures, the optimized software solution stack for video applications, and various features offered by Alveo card live transcoding. {Lecture} 

Vitis Execution Model and XRT

▪ Vitis Execution Model and XRT  

Describes the XRT and the OpenCL APIs used for setting up the platform, executing the target device, and post-processing.. {Lecture, Lab} 

▪ Synchronization

Describes OpenCL synchronization techniques such as events, barriers, blocking write/read, and the benefit of using out-of-order execution. {Lecture, Lab}


▪ Xilinx Card Utilities

Describes the various tool utilities available with the Xilinx Runtime (XRT), such as the Xilinx board, board management, and xclbin utilities. The various commands and usage of these utilities are also covered. {Lecture}


Day 2


NDRange (Optional)

▪ Introduction to NDRanges

Explains the basics of NDRange (N dimensional range) and the OpenCL execution model that defines how kernels execute with the NDRange definition. {Lecture}


▪ Working with NDRanges

Outlines the host code and kernel code changes with respect to NDRange. Also explains how NDRange works and the best way to represent the work-group size for the FPGA architecture. {Lecture}


Design Analysis

▪ Profiling

Describes the different reports generated by the tool and how to view the reports that help to optimize data transfer and kernel optimization using the Vitis analyzer tool. {Lecture}

▪ Debugging

Explains the support for debugging host code and kernel code as well as tips to debug the system. {Lecture}


Kernel Development

▪ Introduction to C/C++ based Kernels

Describes the trade-offs between C/C++, OpenCL, and RTL applications and the benefits of C-based kernels. {Lecture, Lab}


▪ Using the RTL Kernel Wizard to Reuse Existing IP as Accelerators

Describes how the Vitis unified software development provides RTL kernel developers with a framework to integrate their hardware functions into an application running on a host PC connected to an FPGA via a PCIe® interface. {Lecture, Lab}


Optimization Methodology Guide

▪ Optimization Methodology

Describes the recommended flow for optimizing an application in the Vitis unified software development environment. {Lecture}


▪ C/C++ based Kernel Optimization

Reviews different techniques such as loop unrolling, pipelining, and DATAFLOW. {Lecture}


▪ Host Code Optimization  

Describes various optimization techniques, such as reducing the overhead of kernel enqueing and optimizing the data transfer between kernels and global memory. {Lecture}


▪ Optimizing the Performance of the Design

Illustrates various optimization techniques, such as optimizing the host code and data transfer between kernels and global memory, to improve kernel performance. {Lab} 



▪ Vitis Accelerated Libraries

Describes the Vitis accelerated libraries that are available for domain-specific and common libraries. These libraries are open-source, performance-optimized libraries that offer out-of-the-box acceleration. {Lecture}


Platform Creation

▪ Creating a Vitis Embedded Acceleration Platform (Edge)

Describes the Vitis embedded acceleration platform, which provides product developers an environment for creating embedded software and accelerated applications on heterogeneous platforms based on FPGAs, Zynq SoCs, and Alveo data center cards. {Lecture}