MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Synopsys Inc. here today announced that its FPGA Express design synthesis tools are now available on the Toolwire Inc. web site. Synopsys is the first major electronic design automation software company to partner with the online application and services host.
Other companies that have partnered with Toolwire include Lucent Microelectronics, Sun Microsystems, Avnet, QuestLink, WebEx, and ChipCenter.
Toolwire is an application service provider (ASP) for electronic design, located in Santa Clara, Calif. and at www.toolwire.com. On its site, users create personalized workbenches with customizable menus of design tools and productivity services, and can access design flows as an extension of their local desktop design environment, outside the channels of traditional EDA licensing schemes. FPGA Express is being offered through Toolwire on a pay-per-use basis.
According to Synopsys and Toolwire, this is the start of a new paradigm for electronics design, starting with easy access to FPGA synthesis tools, anywhere and anytime.
"We are working with Toolwire because they can immediately help us better serve the design community," said Jay Michlin, vice president and general manager of the FPGA group at Synopsys. "There are more than 50,000 designers with perhaps 125,000 FPGA design projects every year. Many have only limited access to high-performance servers, EDA tools, and CAD supportdepartments. We can now offer the sophisticated features of FPGA Express to this large group of engineers. And we can offer it when and where they need it, on their terms, thanks to the unique capabilities of the Internet and the great service that Toolwire has built around them."
Using Toolwire, he explained, customers can quickly explore design alternatives, access substantial hardware resources, and optimize their budgets. FPGA designers can run designs quickly online, instead of spending time downloading program files and requesting evaluation licenses. Designers who already have FPGA Express, but have limited hardware resources, can leverage Toolwire's server farm to run their designs on an as-needed basis. Toolwire owns and maintains the hardware, and ensures instant access to tools and services at a security level that matches or exceeds that available in-house.
Benchmarking can be done quickly because several designs with multiple synthesis strategies and target devices can be launched simultaneously on the Toolwire web site. Design managers can offload hardware-intensive benchmarking tasks to Toolwire while freeing up engineering personnel and hardware resources for other tasks. Also, CAD managers can better optimize their company's tools budget by gauging their tool expenses on a cost-per-use basis instead of allocating up-front expenses.
Synopsys and Toolwire said they have tried to make the system work as simply as most web-based applications, with a secure front-to-back transaction process that ensures security for design information. Designers simply upload their VHDL or Verilog designs, and Toolwire completely runs the FPGA Express flow. When it's finished, Toolwire automatically e-mails the results.
The only requirements for a designer are a browser, Internet access, and a credit card. There are no downloads, installations, or licenses required, nor any minimum hardware requirements. A wide range of FPGA devices from Actel, Altera, Atmel, Cypress, Lattice, Lucent, Quicklogic, Triscend, and Xilinx are available for designs.
"Synopsys is a key partner and we're pleased that Toolwire can rapidly help Synopsys leverage the superior capabilities of FPGA Express onto the web," said Dan Hodges, president and CEO of Toolwire. "By partnering with Toolwire, Synopsys provides FPGA synthesis with high quality of results in Internet time."
FPGA Express version 3.3 (with full feature set) is available immediately to FPGA designers on the Toolwire web site. Pricing for FPGA synthesis will range from $15 to $60 per run, depending on device complexity.
Engineers can use the service for free until March 24 -- QuestLink Technology Inc., an electronic-information-resource provider and a partner of Toolwire, is picking up the tab.