The folks at Synplicity say that their Synplify Premier graph-based physical synthesis software (see Programmable DesignLine article 205917199) has been enhanced to provide more time-to-market benefits to designers using high-density FPGAs.
They say that in release 9.0, the graph-based physical synthesis technology has been optimized for Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs to deliver exceptional timing closure, analysis and debug for these advanced devices. This latest release extends the graph-based physical synthesis technology which has been implemented for Xilinx Spartan-3, Virtex-II Pro and Virtex-4 FPGAs for more than two years.
Synplicity also announced it has extended these benefits to FPGA designers targeting Altera Stratix-III, Stratix-II and Stratix-II GX FPGAs, through the company's Synplify Premier Beta Program.
Unlike other solutions, Synplify Premier 9.0 is claimed to give users the most accurate timing information and insight into debug performance-related issues immediately following synthesis. Designers don't have to go through the hours of place and route – typical in traditional flows – to get detailed timing information. Once the designer is happy with the results, placement from the Synplify Premier software is passed to the FPGA vendor's place-and-route engines to ensure deterministic results and thus the fastest timing closure.
In addition to providing an optimal solution for timing closure, Synplify Premier 9.0 provides several algorithmic QoR enhancements and productivity boosting features such as a new user interface, additional SystemVerilog constructs, and a new module generation capability.
Robust FPGA design platform integrates a variety of features
The folks at Synplicity say that they are continuously working to expand the breadth of their synthesis technology to provide the most robust platform for FPGA implementation and design. The Synplify Premier Platform is a complete environment offering a range of features including RTL analysis, source-level debug, HDL analysis, advanced floorplanning, physical analysis, module generators and optimizations for DSP design. The Synplify Premier solution is also a platform for implementation and debug of ASIC and SoC prototypes using a single FPGA.
With the release of Synplify Premier 9.0, Synplicity offers additional features for improved productivity. For example, Synplicity has expanded its SynCore IP generator to support FIFOs in addition to RAMs. Designers supply parameters to indicate the size and type of RAM or FIFO and the IP generator wizard automatically creates technology independent RTL ready for synthesis into an FPGA. These features allow designers to avoid handwriting RTL or using technology dependent memory instantiations for these functions.
Additionally, Synplicity continues to extend its support for the SystemVerilog language. New SystemVerilog features in release 9.0 include:
- Array assignments (packed and unpacked)
- Arrays as arguments to functions, tasks and modules
- Declarations in for-loop
- Port declarations for multiple dimensions
- Default argument types
- Argument by names
Graph-based physical synthesis is key to addressing timing closure
In order to fully address timing closure, designers must have highly accurate timing correlation between what a tool estimates and the final, actual timing. The only proven way to get this timing correlation is to perform detailed placement and routing during logic optimization and also to have access to FPGA-specific routing information (routing graph a.k.a. graph-based).
The folks at Synplicity say that their graph-based physical synthesis is the only product on the market that performs final detailed placement of logic during optimization, and therefore, is the only tool that successfully addresses timing closure. Actual testing on customer designs has shown that graph-based physical synthesis provides timing correlation within 10 percent of final post-route timing on over 90 percent of designs resulting in fewer design iterations, less time to completion, and logical and physical optimizations on the actual critical paths of the design.
Unlike other solutions, Synplicity's patented graph-based physical synthesis technology merges logic optimization, placement, and routing estimates into a single process which is used alongside a highly accurate interconnect timing graph (database) to help ensure a design's critical paths use the fastest available routing resources in the target device. This is claimed to be the only physical synthesis solution that creates detailed placement for all logic which is then passed on to the vendor tool for final routing.
New algorithmic changes improve performance, area, and cost
Synplicity says that Synplify Premier 9.0 has been enhanced with algorithmic changes supporting the sophisticated architectural and routing structures for improved performance and area utilization, thereby reducing device cost.
The huge capacity of 65-nanometer devices, coupled with new architectural features, complex routing, and high-capacity memory structures can achieve even greater quality of results through the use of specialized synthesis tools with customized algorithms. Synplicity's physical synthesis software features a unique direct-mapping technology employing a variety of sophisticated new heuristics tailored to minimize the number of logic elements used while still meeting timing objectives.
ASIC prototyping with FPGAs
As ASIC designers increasingly depend upon FPGAs to prototype all or part of their designs, there is a need for a synthesis and verification environment that can take HDL code written for an ASIC and efficiently implement it in an FPGA. The Synplify Premier platform accommodates this by performing automated gated-clock conversion handling of generated clocks and Synopsys DesignWare components.
Synplify Premier software addresses single FPGA prototypes, while Synplicity's Certify RTL prototyping product enables multiple FPGA prototypes with advanced partitioning and pin multiplexing technology.
Availability and pricing
Synplify Premier 9.0 is now available. Pricing for the design environment starts at $54,000 (USD). Synplify Premier software customers who are on active maintenance will receive the 9.0 release at no extra cost.
Designers interested in participating in the Beta Program should contact their Synplicity sales representative. For more information, please visit Synplicity's Web site at www.synplicity.com.