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ESL tool targets algorithm for FPGA, ASIC devices

Posted: 19 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Synplify DSP ASIC Edition software? ESL synthesis tool? ASIC FPGA design?

Although Synplicity Inc. left the ASIC synthesis market last year, the company is targeting ASIC designers once again with a new edition of its Synplify DSP product. This time, however, the focus is on ESL design rather than logic synthesis.

Synplicity rolled out its Synplify DSP ASIC Edition software at the Design Automation and Test Europe conference in France. Synplify DSP is an ESL synthesis tool that has until now been aimed at FPGA designs. Working from Simulink specifications, it lets designers implement DSP algorithms, explore speed and area tradeoffs, and generate optimized RTL code for logic synthesis.

The new offering is aimed at algorithmic implementation for either FPGA or ASIC devices. "There is strong demand for our DSP synthesis methodology to target ASICs and FPGAs because of its technology independent modeling capabilities," said Chris Eddington, senior technical marketing manager at Synplicity. "For customers who use FPGA prototyping for their DSP-based ASICs, Synplify DSP ASIC Edition delivers a huge productivity boost."

The ASIC Edition has several features not in the FPGA version of Synplify DSP, Eddington said. These include ASIC-based timing estimation for the DSP synthesis engine, special memory handling features like automatic extraction to support third-party tools, and integration with logic synthesis flows from Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems. For ASIC designers using compiled memories, the new offering automatically extracts and manages the memory in a separate level of hierarchy.

Synplicity left the ASIC synthesis market last year and cut its staff. Synplify DSP ASIC Edition is different from the company's past ASIC logic synthesis efforts, Eddington said, because it's an ESL tool that acts as a front-end to logic synthesis. "A common flow from a high-level model to an FPGA or ASIC is very useful in the ASIC prototyping flow," he noted.

The Synplify DSP ASIC Edition starts at $44,500 for a floating, one-year license.

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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