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Actel revamps FPGA suite, tightens link to Synplify

Posted: 01 Oct 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fpga? software? libero? synthesis? asic?

A new version of Actel Corp.'s Libero FPGA design environment is more tightly integrated with Synplicity Inc.'s synthesis software. It also has expanded interfaces to other vendors' tools and a floorplanner with a multiview GUI for the Actel Designer place-and-route environment.

Actel has been working with Synplicity to ensure that the latest version of the Synplify FPGA synthesis tool--which Actel bundles into its development systems - would help streamline the Libero flow, said Saloni Howard-Sarin, director of tool marketing at Actel. The company has also improved its internally developed FPGA place-and-route software, to the point where the Libero suite generates a 60 percent performance improvement for Actel's flash-based ProASIC Plus family, she said.

"We focused on improving performance and ease of use throughout our entire flow to help customers reach timing closure more quickly with our ProASIC family," she said.

Actel and Synplicity worked together to coordinate Synplify's mapping and timing model capabilities to the ProASIC architecture. The synthesis improvements will deliver an 18 percent to 43 percent gain in runtimes to customers, Howard-Sarin said.

Actel has also added new place-and-route algorithms to Libero version 5.0, which tacks on a further 15 percent performance improvement, she said. And it has added interfaces for SynaptiCAD's WaveFormer Lite version 9.0 and Mentor Graphics' ModelSim version 5.7 tools.

Density vs. performance

Howard-Sarin said that Libero's place-and-route tool, Designer, has been enhanced. Its new floor planner, called ChipPlanner, lets users trade off between optimal design density and performance by managing regions, logic placement, I/O assignment and routing.

The new MultiView Navigator, meanwhile, simultaneously displays ChipPlanner, netlist, package, I/O attributes, hierarchy and log window views. That lets users easily navigate a design and find bug sources more easily, she said.

- Michael Santarini

EE Times

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