The build target of the Vitis™ tool defines the nature and contents of the FPGA binary (.xclbin) created during compilation and linking. There are three different build targets: two emulation targets used for validation and debugging purposes: software emulation and hardware emulation, and the default system hardware target used to generate the FPGA binary (.xclbin) loaded into the Xilinx® device.
Compiling for an emulation target is significantly faster than compiling for the real hardware. The emulation run is performed in a simulation environment, which offers enhanced debug visibility and does not require an actual accelerator card.
|Software Emulation||Hardware Emulation||Hardware Execution|
|Host application runs with a C/C++ or OpenCL™ model of the kernels.||Host application runs with a simulated RTL model of the kernels.||Host application runs with actual hardware implementation of the kernels.|
|Used to confirm functional correctness of the system.||Test the host / kernel integration, get performance estimates.||Confirm that the system runs correctly and with desired performance.|
|Fastest build time supports quick design iterations.||Best debug capabilities, moderate compilation time with increased visibility of the kernels.||Final FPGA implementation, long build time with accurate (actual) performance results.|