HENDERSON, Nev. Aldec Inc. has rolled out Tool Integrator, a product based on the Tcl/Tk scripting environment that gives users a way to integrate third-party synthesis and implementation tools into its Active-HDL environment. The offering makes it easier for Aldec, which does not offer synthesis, to provide a more complete design environment for programmable logic.
Tool Integrator consists of some prewritten Tcl scripts that allow users to invoke third-party tools from within Active-HDL. "You can control your whole design from the Active-HDL environment," said Michael O'Brien, product marketing manager at Aldec. "It's a simplified way to have a GUI call your other tools."
Tcl is a scripting language for launching and controlling external applications. Tk is a graphical user interface tool kit. Tcl/Tk lets users customize design environments without having to learn proprietary foreign language interfaces.
O'Brien said users can download prepared scripts from Aldec's Web site, which support most major FPGA synthesis and layout tools. Users can create their own Tcl/Tk scripts to develop interfaces to other tools.
Once the scripts are installed, the third-party tools can be invoked from the Active-HDL tools menu. When launched, the third-party tools will have their own user interfaces.
Tool Integrator is built into Active-HDL PE (Plus Edition) 3.6, and it supports Tcl/Tk version 8.0. Active-HDL is currently based around VHDL simulation, with Verilog simulation promised for early 2000. There is no additional charge for Tool Integrator. Active-HDL PE prices start at $5,200.
Aldec is also announcing an expansion of its training program for VHDL and Verilog design. The company offers Web-based training, regional language training and on-site training. Aldec also provides free HDL training materials from its Web site.