The folks at Synfora
, who specialize in algorithmic synthesis tools used to design systems-on-chips (SoCs) and FPGAs, have announced the availability of PICO Extreme FPGA, which extends their algorithmic synthesis technology to FPGA devices.
Building on the strength of PICO Extreme for SoC design (see Synfora press release 021108.html), PICO Extreme FPGA enables the implementation of dramatically larger and more complex FPGA sub-systems such as video codecs, wireless modems or imaging pipelines and ensures more efficient implementation of complex algorithms than any other synthesis capability.
Using a recursive system composition methodology, PICO Extreme FPGA allows familiar design styles, reduces runtimes, and achieves unprecedented quality of results that compete with hand design. Recursive system composition is enabled by Synfora's innovative TCAB technology. TCABs (tightly coupled accelerator blocks) allow users to designate parts of their algorithm as custom building blocks. These application-specific building blocks are C procedures that can be designed and verified standalone. The PICO compiler then automatically integrates and schedules these blocks as if they were primitive computing elements. This process can be repeated to an arbitrary depth so that a building block can contain multiple building blocks, which improves the compiler's ability to find better optimization, improving performance and reducing area by an average of 15%. Such a mixed bottom-up, top-down approach is very natural for the designer.
PICO Extreme FPGA extends the collaboration between Xilinx and Synfora to build a product that can synthesize efficient, multi-block hardware from a C algorithm. By transforming a sequential, untimed C algorithm into highly efficient RTL that meets the performance specifications and is optimized to the target Xilinx device (Spartan-3, Virtex-4, or Virtex-5 FPGAs), PICO Extreme FPGA shields the designer from implementation complexity. PICO Extreme FPGA integrates seamlessly with Xilinx ISE design tools and has been designed to take advantage of the embedded DSP and memory features of Xilinx FPGAs without the user having to make any changes to the algorithm. Quality of results (QoR) has been proven in a series of complex video blocks during Xilinx beta testing.
Pricing and availability
PICO Extreme FPGA is currently available. US pricing starts at $210,000. Xilinx and Synfora are collaborating to ensure training and support is available for both design creation and RTL integration. Contact Synfora www.synfora.com for more information about computer-based training.