These tools can help them decide on specific hardware or architecture that can address their application needs.
Meanwhile, the SLX Parallelizer is a tool designed to assist in bringing sequential code to the parallel world. The previous tool already supported C, but in the new version of the SLX Parallelizer, Slexica has now added C++ language support. The Parallelizer, in essence, helps customers migrate legacy C, C++ applications into the multicore world, giving deep insights into parallelization possibilities based on the target platform, the company said.
The SLX Explorer is for system architects when they need to select the best target hardware. The tool gives them insights into software performance/power prediction of the target application. The new release also supports 64-bit and PowerPC modeling capabilities for broader platform support, the company said.
So, who else are competing with Silexica for automated programming tools for multicore systems?
Although different companies offer a certain level of help in automated programming for multicores, “they usually offer a single tool that addresses a specific segment,” said Venkatramani. “No one vendor is addressing all of the issues like we are doing.” Meanwhile, some customers have their own, home-grown tools for their internal use, he added.
Silexica sees their tools addressing the needs of both SoC designers and system architects.
Asked if the use of Silexica's tools is limited to only certain processors, Venkatramani said, "Our approach is to model the processors external to the tool itself in an XML file. This allows the models to be developed orthogonal to the tool itself and customers and others can develop these models also."
The company, however, added that supported targets of SLX Mapper and Generator, thus far, are: host execution, Texas Instruments’ OMAP, Keystone, NXP T4240, NXP B4860, Parallella/Epiphany, ARM 32bit-based platforms and ARM 64bit-based platforms. “We will be growing our library of models,” Venkatramani added.
Silexica, although founded only two years ago, has already picked up a few major customers including Huawei and Fujitsu.
Noting that the company has been doing research based on the SLX Tool Suite for the last four years initially in cooperation with a team at RWTH Achen University, Xiaotao Chen, director, Huawei Wireless R&D USA, said in a statement: “The System-level profiling and optimization toolset achieved surprising improvement in both performance and power efficiency over traditional approaches, from processing units (DSP/CPU) power analysis to network-on-chip power efficiency, all the way to power-aware mapping and scheduling of heterogeneous and hierarchical architectures for our wireless baseband applications."
Meanwhile, Fujitsu has set its sights on the emerging challenges in optimizing communication and automotive applications onto multicores. “We have successfully integrated the SLX Tool Suite into our multicore software development flow to address these challenges,” said Noriyasu Nakayama, Manager Fujitsu Advanced Technologies Ltd., in a statement.
Silexica pointed out, during the interview, the standardization work going on at the Multicore Association. Aimed at optimizing products with multicore processor implementations, the non-profit organization has been developing an updated version of its Software/Hardware Interface for Multicore/Manycore (SHIM) processors and tools.
Silexica noted that the initial updates which will be included in SHIM 2.0 will come from Silexica, an MCA member.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times