System on chip (SoC) designers today are emphasizing on a process which can ensure robust silicon at the first tape-out. Given the complexity of modern SoC chips, there is compelling need to have suitable run time software, such at the Linux kernel and necessary drivers available once prototype silicon is available. Emulation and FPGA prototyping systems are exemplary platforms to run the tests for designs, are naturally efficient and perform well, and enable early software development. While useful, one needs to keep in mind that emulation and FPGA prototyping systems do not run at full silicon speed. In fact, the SoC target ported to the FPGA might achieve a clock speed less than 10 MHz. While still very useful for testing and software development, this low operating speed creates challenges for connecting to external devices such as DDR SDRAM. In this paper, the DDR-PHY INTERFACE (DFI) to Advanced eXtensible Interface (AXI) Bridge is designed to support a DDR4 memory sub-system design. This bridge module is developed based on the DDR PHY Interface version 5.0 specification, and once implemented in an FPGA, it transfers command information and data between the SoC DDR Memory controller being prototypes, across the AXI bus to an FPGA specific memory controller connected to a DDR SDRAM or other physical memory external to the FPGA. This bridge module enables multi-communication with the design under test (DUT) with a synthesizable SCE-MI based infrastructure between the bridge and logic simulator. SCE-MI provides a direct mechanism to inject the specific traffic, and monitor performance of the DFI-AXI DDR4 Memory PHY Bridge. Both Emulation and FPGA prototyping platforms can use this design and its testbench.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Random access memory; Memory management (Computer science); Systems on a chip--Design and construction; Field programmable gate arrays

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Electrical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)


Mark A. Indovina

Advisor/Committee Member

Dorin Patru

Advisor/Committee Member

Dan Phillips


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes