Electronic Design

Xilinx And Synopsys Collaborate On Tool Flow For Platform FPGAs

Time-saving verification tools have been added to an advanced tool flow for high-end FPGA design. The flow, a collaboration between Xilinx Inc. of San Jose and Synopsys Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., now includes Synopsys LEDA register-transfer-level (RTL) rule checking, PrimeTime static timing analysis, and Formality formal verification.

Those tools join the existing flow of Synopsys' VCS or Scirocco for simulation, Synopsys' FPGA Compiler II for synthesis, and the Xilinx Integrated Software Environment (ISE) 4.1i. This flow was designed to reduce development time while helping to ensure that products meet specifications when realized with Xilinx's Virtex-II Platform FPGAs.

The new FPGA flow lets designers use tools and strategies previously only available for ASICs. It's the most comprehensive support available for Xilinx's Virtex II FPGAs. Designers create a specification in VHDL or Verilog. Synopsys' LEDA checks HDL code for good workmanship, correctness, and performance, applying a Virtex-II rule set jointly developed with Xilinx.

The RTL is simulated using a high-speed simulator, such as Synopsys' VCS or Scirocco. Next, the design is synthesized with Synopsys' FPGA Compiler II, which optimizes the high-level logic description into the Virtex-II architecture. Xilinx's ISE 4.1 software performs implementation .

Once implemented, Virtex-II designers can save valuable development time by performing static timing and functional verification on the design before testing it in the lab. Xilinx supplies scripts and libraries to enable the use of the PrimeTime and Formality ASIC verification tools. PrimeTime statically analyzes and verifies the post-layout timing of the Virtex-II device and provides comprehensive feedback to the designer using time-saving features, such as bottleneck- and mode-analysis. Formality uses formal mathematical techniques to quickly ensure that the design is functionally equivalent to the RTL specification.

All Synopsys products are available now. For details, go to www.synopsys.com. The Xilinx design rules for the Synopsys LEDA HDL Checker can be downloaded from www.synopsys.com/products/leda/leda.html.

TAGS: Digital ICs
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