Offering users ESL productivity combined with an ability to analyze various architectures for performance, area, and power is the goal of a collaborative effort between Sequence Design and Bluespec, Inc. The ESL tool market, expected to achieve nearly 36 percent CAGR over the next five years according to Gartner Dataquest, is growing thanks to SoC designers looking for higher productivity and reduced time to market.
“Performance, area, and power are the three competitive technology parameters for SoC design,” said Bluespec CEO, Shiv Tasker. “Sequence’s PowerTheater power management solution and Bluespec’s ESL synthesis technology combine perfectly to optimize all of these critical variables.”
Bluespec’s ESL Synthesis automatically synthesizes RTL implementations from high-level design descriptions, including recently announced support for SystemC. Bluespec’s integration with Sequence’s PowerTheater allows ESL Synthesis to generate multiple trial configurations and then run PowerTheater to estimate power at RTL and, later, at the gate level. The generated power data allows users to examine tradeoffs for performance, area, and power to optimize the design’s power profile early in the design cycle.
“In a recent design, to be published at this year’s MEMOCODE conference, architects evaluated seven different architectures for a Wi-Fi transmitter quickly and easily with this combined flow,” according to Tasker. “They were astounded to find that their intuitions were wrong and that the critical areas for reducing power were not where they suspected. Armed with accurate data, they were able to create an optimal design that they know is verifiably the best.”
“Bluespec is on a mission to reduce the cost, time to market, and complexity of SoC design,” said Sequence president and CEO, Vic Kulkarni. “Today, people use power estimates to spec the design, because it’s typically too hard to change by the time they can get an RTL assessment – what they need is early and frequent feedback before they lock in the particular macro/micro architectural approach, which is precisely what can now be done by using PowerTheater in the ESL flow.”
The integrated solution is currently available for users of Sequence and Bluespec products.
PowerTheater is the industry standard for low-power design at RTL. Capabilities include accurate RTL power analysis closely correlated to actual silicon; power management tools that allow designers to reduce power at RTL using “what-if” scenarios and make early tradeoffs at the architectural level; power vector forward technology to select vectors for downstream analysis, feeding them to later stages of the design cycle for gate-level verification and voltage-drop analysis; and gate-level power verification, preventing power creep.
Bluespec, Inc. manufactures an industry standards-based Electronic Design Automation (EDA) toolset that significantly raises the level of abstraction for hardware design while retaining the ability to automatically synthesize high quality RTL, without compromising speed, power or area. The toolset, the only one focused on control and complex datapaths, allows ASIC and FPGA designers to significantly reduce design time, bugs and re-spins that contribute to product delays and escalating costs. More information can be found by calling 781-250-2200.
Sequence Design accelerates the ability of SoC designers to bring high-performance, power-aware ICs quickly to market. Sequence’s power and signal- integrity software solutions give customers the competitive advantage necessary to excel in aggressive technology markets, despite the demanding complexity and time-to-market issues of nanometer design. Sequence serves over 150 customers worldwide, in application segments such as consumer, wireless, mobile computing, multimedia, cell phones, digital cameras, network-on-chip processors, and other power-sensitive markets. The company was named by Reed Electronics as one of the top 10 companies to watch in the electronics industry, and was recently selected as one of high-tech’s Top 100 companies by siliconindia magazine. Sequence has worldwide development and field-service operations and is privately held.