The folks from Impulse Accelerated Technologies (www.ImpulseC.com) have just announced an Arista Networks version of the Impulse C-to-FPGA optimizing compiler.
Impulse C is a C-language development environment for FPGAs that allows software algorithms to be quickly and efficiently implemented in programmable hardware. The new compiler comes in a kit providing everything needed for Arista users to compile their C algorithms to the FPGA integrated in Arista’s new 7124FX AppSwitch.
The Arista 7124FX AppSwitch is a 24-port 1/10-Gbps switch with hot-swappable redundant power supplies and fans packed into a 1RU box. What makes the 7124FX unique is the FPGA containing 6.2 million gates that are truly field programmable. The 7124FX is targeted at applications that can make use of high-capacity, low-latency logic in FPGAs at the network level, such as high-frequency trading, deep packet inspection, and media transcoding.
Where FPGA programming normally requires hardware design language (HDL) programming skills, the Impulse kit provides a means of compiling C code to the AppSwitch FPGA. In this tool flow, C algorithms can be expressed as streaming processes that are parallelized for acceleration of 10 to 100X, relative to CPU implementations. Impulse C can be used in conjunction with standard C development tools and debuggers, speeding the development and maintenance of algorithms requiring frequent updating.
Impulse C also facilitates the step-by-step validation from hardware-independent C-language to full hardware simulation, through integration with hardware simulators including ModelSim (from Mentor Graphics) or Active-HDL (available from Aldec, Inc.) Impulse C is the most widely accepted tool of this type, with a worldwide user base and over a decade of development.
C language applications are managed as one
source file which can compile to FPGA hardware
or run in C on the optional FPGA soft-core processor.
Arista 7124FX AppSwitch platform support is provided in the Impulse compiler, speeding development time and reducing the need for hardware design expertise. The Impulse C AppSwitch development kit includes reference designs, Altera Quartus synthesis software, necessary drivers and even a programming cable: everything needed to get started programming the 7124FX.
Support from Impulse is available at multiple levels. The standard Impulse C kit for AppSwitch provides examples of “bump in the wire” processing, allowing software developers to more quickly refine their algorithms for FPGA parallelism. Beyond that, Impulse can also offer sample code and consulting to handle various exchange protocols, libraries of analytic functions and full-custom solutions. The 7124FX AppSwitch Development Kit is available through Arista Networks worldwide (www.aristanetworks.com
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