Siret, who serves as CEO, and Wipliez are currently the only company employees. Both worked on research related to hardware description and abstraction for their PhDs. "We started to work on the Synflow project at the beginning of January 2012. We worked on Synflow Studio for 18 months, asking hardware engineers what they wanted and improving Synflow Studio according to their needs. In March 2013 the studio was mature enough to be sold, so we founded Synflow and started marketing Synflow Studio," said Siret in a separate email to EE Times.
"With Synflow Studio and the C~, or C-flow, language we have made something entirely different. We asked engineers and team leaders what they wanted: keeping the control over their design area, performance, being able to read the generated VHDL/Verilog, understanding how it is generated, improving the communication between software and hardware teams, being able to design every kind of design, speeding-up the simulation, and making the design of hardware easier. The result is that we created C~, which is a modern C-based language with the right level of abstraction," said Siret.
Nicolas Siret, CEO of Synflow SAS.
"Why should we succeed when so many others have failed? Because we put ourselves in the designer's seat, and tried to solve their problems rather than impose an ill-suited technology such as high-level synthesis; because we have tried to design several kinds of IP early on, and we ate our own dog food, which led us through several iterations when developing the software. Last and not least Synflow adheres to modern standards of development environments, with on-the-fly verification of the input design via syntactic and semantic checks and automated, incremental compilation. While other companies are still stuck with command-line tools and reports, we offer an all-integrated experience with live highlighting of problems," said Siret.
From its founding early 2013 Synflow has been funded under a French government scheme and this is expected to last until the beginning of 2014. The company is working on equity funding from sources in Europe and the United States and expects to close a Series A round in the first quarter of 2014.