Electronic Design

PLD Synthesis Tool Sports Intuitive Feel

The advent of larger programmable logic devices (PLDs) and field-programmable systems-on-a-chip (FPSoCs) has spawned new interest in their use in both prototyping and production. Mentor Graphics has rolled out the first tool in a comprehensive tool suite for FPGAs in its Precision Synthesis environment.

The tool is a scalable synthesis platform for designers implementing a full range of PLDs, including Altera's Stratix and Excalibur architectures and Xilinx's Virtex-II Platform FPGAs. Even novice designers can be productive with its Design Center graphical user interface, which includes two distinct views of the design. The design view makes it easy for users to add or edit design or constraint files or to view synthesis or place-and-route report files. It also provides revision management.

In the tool's hierarchy view, users are linked directly to a schematic viewer. They can find any object in the design and directly apply constraints to that object. There's no need to launch other design editors to enter constraints, saving time and increasing productivity. The tool supports Synopsys Design Constraints, ensuring compatibility with ASIC tool flows and easy migration of ASIC-oriented cores to FPGA implementations.

Precision Synthesis, now in beta release, will see full release the second quarter. A perpetual node-locked, single-vendor license for PCs costs $16,000. The tool runs on Windows, Solaris, and HP-UX platforms.

Mentor Graphics, www.mentor.com/synthesis/precision; (800) 632-3742, (800) 547-3000.

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