Xilinx's new DSP package and the Catalytic's purchase of Celoxica are just two recent developments dissolving the wall between algorithm and FPGA implementation.
The wall between algorithm development and hardware implementation is slowly disintegrating. One of the driving forces behind this trend is the integration of MATLAB, the most popular algorithm development tool, and high-level hardware synthesis tools. For DSP developers, the past month saw two announcements likely to accelerate this trend.
Last week, FPGA vendor Xilinx released its latest XtremeDSP tools package. While no new tools or boards were announced—only updates of existing ones—Xilinx has dramatically dropped the price of its MATLAB to HDL tool AccelDSP, and its graphical design tool System Generator. The tools now come bundled for $1,495 (previously AccelDSP and System Generator sold for $4,995 and $995, respectively). Those not familiar with AccelDSP may want to check out this online lecture.
January also saw the merger of ESL company Celoxica with MATLAB to C tool vendor Catalytic. With the acquisition of Celoxica's C-based synthesis tools, the new company now has a path all the way from MATLAB to FPGAs. It will be interesting to see how the company integrates these tool flows and prices them.