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C/C++ to VHDL for $995

Posted: 25 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:orange tree technologies? systemcrafter? systemc? package? sc compiler?

Orange Tree Technologies and SystemCrafter announce the SystemCrafter package for SystemC development work. The package consists of the SystemCrafter SC compiler, for the synthesis of SystemC to vhdl, and the zestsc1 fpga development board. The list price for the compiler is $995, and the package of compiler and board is $1,490. This is a breakthrough in price for SystemC synthesis technology.

SystemC is a worldwide standard for modeling hardware and software systems using the C/C++ language with a library for hardware constructs. As well as allowing hardware and software to be simulated in the same framework, it is also more compact than VHDL or Verilog. It is faster to write, and more maintainable and readable, and can be compiled into an executable specification for fast simulation.

SystemCrafter SC automatically synthesizes hardware designs written in SystemC to VHDL. This VHDL can then be used with commonly available tools to target Xilinx FPGAs. This enables engineers and programmers to design, debug and simulate hardware and systems using their existing C++ development environment.

Most other SystemC and proprietary C-to-hardware tools cost many $10,000's, often for just a one year subscription. SystemCrafter SC brings the price down to a much more acceptable $995 for a perpetual license for the compiler alone, or $1,490 bundled with the ZestSC1 development board.

Jonathan Saul, Chief Executive of SystemCrafter, commented, "C-to-hardware tools have always been extremely expensive, and in most cases have been based on a proprietary language. SystemCrafter SC not only brings the price of C-to-hardware within the reach of everyone, but also uses a widely-supported language which is an industry standard."

Matt Bowen, Director of Orange Tree Technologies, said, "We are very excited to be collaborating with SystemCrafter. To evaluate their software a novice SystemC programmer used SystemCrafter SC to write a DES encryption application for images, and developed a fully functioning deliverable application in only two days."

SystemCrafter SC gives the designer control over the critical areas of scheduling and allocation. For verification the same SystemC testbench can be used to verify the design at all stages. A standard C++ compiler and freely available class libraries from the web are used for simulation.

ZestSC1 is a desktop FPGA development board with High Speed 480Mbps USB interface. It achieves the maximum possible bandwidth of over 40MBytes/sec from the USB. The FPGA is the Xilinx Spartan-3 with up to one million logic gates, and there is also up to 8MB of SRAM. User I/O is provided through 49 header pins. A daughter card e.g. for ADC/DAC or video in/out can be plugged into the header and powered from the board. The board can be powered from USB for maximum portability, but can also be powered from a wall adapter if extra power is required.

The board is provided with full software support for Windows XP and 2000, together with example logic cores for all the FPGA interfaces for use with SystemCrafter SC. These all help the user get their application up and running as quickly as possible.

The package can be purchased direct from the web at A free evaluation version of SystemCrafter SC can be downloaded and used for 30 days. Prices are $995 for SystemCrafter SC, from $495 for ZestSC1, and from $1490 for the package of SystemCrafter SC and ZestSC1. ZestSC1's price depends on options such as FPGA type and memory size. SystemCrafter SC prices are for a perpetual license. Discounts for students and universities are available. Both products are available immediately.


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