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Cadence rolls synthesis tool, new metric

Posted: 20 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cadence design systems? encounter? trl compiler? ultra synthesis tool? vhdl language?

Cadence Design Systems Inc. will announce that its Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra synthesis tool supports the VHDL language. The company is also proposing a new quality-of-silicon (QoS) metric to evaluate synthesis results.

Encounter RTL Compiler Ultra integrates Cadence's Encounter design platform with technology from Get2Chip Inc., which Cadence acquired in April 2003. Until now, Get2Chip's RTL Compiler supported only Verilog.

Cadence completed its first integration of Get2Chip's technology into the Encounter platform in December, said Steve Carlson, platform marketing director for digital IC design at Cadence. Users can call up the synthesis program within Encounter and exchange netlists and interconnect models.

However, the Encounter RTL Compiler is not yet available on the OpenAccess database and probably won't be until late this year, when OpenAccess adds support for logic modeling, Carlson said.

By adding VHDL support, Encounter RTL Compiler "is now available to the other half of the design community out there," Carlson said. Support has come from ASIC vendors, including IBM, and intellectual-property providers, he said.

RTL Compiler is a high-end offering aimed at the "really big, fast chips," Carlson said. It can handle 1.2M to 1.3M instances, or 4M to 6M gates on a 32-bit machine, he said.

Unlike the BuildGates RTL synthesis tool, which Cadence continues to market, or other commercial synthesis products, RTL Compiler uses "global focus algorithms" that can synthesize along multiple paths, Carlson said. This eliminates a lot of the scripting and time budgeting needed with other tools, he said, and supports faster run-times and larger capacities.

Carlson said that QoS is a better metric for nanometer designs than the old quality-of-results synthesis metric, which looked at area and performance before routing. Carlson explains QoS in detail in an EEdesign exclusive feature.

Determined after routing has been completed, the QoS metric provides a speed number; an area number, including interconnects; and power dissipation. Cadence said Encounter RTL Compiler offers a better QoS than competing synthesis products.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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