Electronic Design

Algorithmic Synthesis Is Extended To FPGAs

Building on the strength of its PICO Extreme algorithmic synthesis tool for SoCs, Synfora’s PICO Extreme FPGA extends algorithmic synthesis technology to FPGA devices. PICO Extreme FPGA enables the implementation of dramatically larger and more complex FPGA subsystems such as video codecs, wireless modems, or imaging pipelines and ensures more efficient implementation of complex algorithms than any other synthesis capability, according to Synfora.

Using a recursive system composition methodology, PICO Extreme FPGA allows familiar design styles, reduces runtime, and achieves high quality of results that competes with hand design. Recursive system composition is enabled by Synfora’s TCAB technology. TCABs--tightly coupled accelerator blocks—allow users to designate parts of their algorithm as custom building blocks. These application-specific building blocks are C procedures that can be designed and verified in standalone fashion. The PICO compiler then automatically integrates and schedules these blocks as if they were primitive computing elements. This process can be repeated to an arbitrary depth so that a building block can contain multiple building blocks, which improves the compiler’s ability to find better optimization, improving performance and reducing area by an average of 15%. The resulting mixed bottom-up, top-down approach is very natural for the designer.

PICO Extreme FPGA extends the collaboration between Xilinx and Synfora to build a product that can synthesize efficient, multi-block hardware from a C algorithm. By transforming a sequential, untimed C algorithm into highly efficient RTL that meets the performance specifications and is optimized to the target Xilinx device (Spartan-3, Virtex-4 or Virtex-5 FPGAs), PICO Extreme FPGA shields the designer from implementation complexity. PICO Extreme FPGA integrates seamlessly with Xilinx ISE design tools and has been designed to take advantage of the embedded DSP and memory features of Xilinx FPGAs without the user having to make any changes to the algorithm. Quality of results (QoR) has been proven in a series of complex video blocks during Xilinx beta testing.

PICO Extreme FPGA is available now with U.S. prices starting at $210,000. Xilinx and Synfora are collaborating to ensure training and support is available for both design creation and RTL integration.


TAGS: Digital ICs
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