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Mentor fields vendor-independent FPGA synthesis tool

Posted: 27 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:multi-vendor FPGA design tool? FPGA synthesis?

Mentor Graphics Corp. has released the Precision RTL Plus Synthesis, which significantly improves the way of designing FPGAs and dramatically increases designer productivity.

The tool provides several industry-first capabilities that enable every designer, regardless of level of expertise, to reach timing closure faster, minimize the impact of late cycle design changes and make efficient use of FPGA architectural blocks.

The new tool incorporates three innovative capabilities. First is the multi-vendor physically aware synthesis, which unlike other physical synthesis tools, improves design performance for a wide range of devices from multiple vendors. Next is what Mentor claims as the industry's first incremental synthesis that is fully automatic, reducing runtime by efficiently processing late cycle design changes. Thirdly, the tool has a unique resource management technology for optimized design performance. Used separately or in combination, the result in dramatically increased productivity to handle growing design complexity.

Simplifying design
Precision RTL Plus takes physically aware synthesis offer multi-vendor support for 19 FPGA device families, significantly broader than that supported by competing tools. According to Mentor, this technology enables designers to reach their timing goals faster and with fewer iterations. It is a push-button, timing-driven methodology, which provides an optimized netlist to the FPGA vendors' place and route (P&R) tools. It performs pre-P&R physical synthesis optimizations based on advanced delay estimation. It also considers many factors including potential placement, available routing resources, and design rules specific to each device. Internal and customer testing shows a typical performance improvement ranging from 5 to 40 percent, with an average improvement of 10 percent.

Precision RTL Plus offers an industry-first capability of automating incremental synthesis without reducing the quality of results. It enables up to 60 percent runtime improvement, without requiring prior planning or setup, when used with Precision-supported FPGA devices. The combination of the new automatic incremental synthesis and Xilinx SmartGuide flow is claimed to be the industry's first complete automatic incremental design flow which takes the incremental change all the way through place and route.

Precision RTL Plus also supports the typical partition-based synthesis approach of Altera and Xilinx which can result in saving of up to 6x in run time and maximize the predictability after a design change. This can potentially mean that an iteration that previously would take an entire workday could now be done in a fraction of that time. Precision RTL Plus takes partition-based design a step further by allowing designers to recompile and synthesize only the partition affected by the design change.

The resource management technology allows the engineer to easily make tradeoffs to optimize the design for either performance or area by analyzing and manipulating the mapping of dedicated FPGA blocks. The tool offers an intuitive interface that allows the user to easily identify available architectural blocks and re-map implementations for best performance and device utilization.

The Precision RTL Plus solution is available now, with product pricing starting at $27,100.

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