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RTL synthesis tool speeds up run-time

Posted: 21 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:compiler? compilers? EDA tool? EDA tools? RTL compilers?

Cadence Design Systems has released Encounter RTL Compiler version 6.2, which promises a 10 percent improvement in quality of silicon and a 30 to 50 percent run-time speedup.

Cadence still has a long ways to go to catch up with RTL synthesis market leader Synopsys Inc., which has maintained close to a 90 percent market share for many years. But Cadence claims to be making progress. Steve Carlson, vice president of marketing at Cadence, said some 220 companies are now using RTL Compiler. That includes Freescale, which announced last year that Cadence would be its primary EDA provider.

The new RTL Compiler release is the product of a substantial R&D effort, said Pradeep Fernandes, vice president for synthesis R&D at Cadence. According to Fernandes, data from internal test cases and customer designs shows that the new version delivers timing and area improvements averaging 5 percent compared to earlier versions, power improvements averaging 10 percent, and run-time speedups averaging 30 percent and going as high as 50 percent.

The improvements, said Fernandes, result from improvements in the core global mapping algorithms, as well as improved RTL and multiplexer optimizations. "We improved the way our global optimization algorithms do global structuring and mapping, and that resulted in a tremendous improvement in total negative slack," he said. "Total negative slack really defines timing closure on the back end."

RTL Compiler 6.2 also improves multi-mode capabilities, offering a run-time and memory reduction by about 35 percent compared to previous releases, Fernandes said. The result, he said, is that there's no longer much overhead for running synthesis with multiple functional modes.

Fernandes also said that integration with SoC Encounter's design for test (DFT) capabilities have been improved in the latest RTL Compiler release.

Encounter RTL Compiler 6.2 is available now in L, XL and GXL configurations.

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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