Impulse, Nallatech Introduce C-to-FPGA Design Flow

Impulse Accelerated Technologies and Nallatech announced the release of an Impulse C Platform Support Package allowing the use of the Impulse CoDeveloper(TM) tools with the Nallatech DimeTALK(TM) FPGA interface. The combined tools allow software application developers to create C algorithms for acceleration on Nallatech’s scalable FPGA-based systems, without the need to use low-level HDL programming methods.

“The availability of the Impulse CoDeveloper for Nallatech Platform Support Package reflects an increased interest in FPGA-based computing,” said David Pellerin, CTO and co-founder of Impulse. “Nallatech’s reconfigurable hardware systems provide an excellent platform and proven for algorithm development, in a wide variety of domains. We are excited to be working with Nallatech to promote FPGA-based high performance computing.”

According to Impulse and Nallatech, key customers in the domains of financial and scientific computing have been the primary drivers behind this new collaboration. “Our alliance with Impulse gives our mutual customers the confidence that there are reliable, easy-to-use paths from high-level software algorithms into FPGA-accelerated platforms,” said Allan Cantle, CEO of Nallatech. “The Impulse C programming tools, when combined with our DimeTALK interface, provide a fast and simple path to hardware.”

For high performance computing applications, the Impulse tools allow highly parallel algorithms to be generated from C language descriptions and compiled to create lower level hardware descriptions. These hardware descriptions can then be combined with other system elements using Nallatech DimeTALK tool, allowing developers to create packet-based communications networks across multiple FPGAs. The result is that application developers can more easily assemble a massively parallel, FPGA-based computing system without in-depth knowledge of hardware designs.

According to Pellerin, FPGA-based high-performance computing can be used to accelerate a broad range of applications including financial computing, image processing, bioinformatics, security, and geophysics for oil and gas exploration. “It is critical that we simplify the software-to-FPGA design flow,” said Pellerin. “Software programmers and domain scientists do not accept solutions that require them to become hardware designers. Impulse and Nallatech share a common goal of making FPGA-based computing mainstream for these important industries.”

About Impulse
Impulse CoDeveloper enables true software programming of FPGAs using ANSI C. The Impulse tools allow FPGA algorithms to be developed and debugged using popular C/C++ development environments, including Microsoft Visual Studio(TM) and GCC-based tools. The CoDeveloper software-to-hardware compiler translates C-language processes to low-level FPGA-hardware, while optimizing the generated logic and identifying opportunities for parallelism. The compiler analyzes untimed C code and schedules multiple statements and operations into single-clock instruction stages. CoDeveloper unrolls loops and generates loop pipelines to exploit the extreme levels of parallelism possible in an FPGA. Impulse tools are priced for software engineers, with perpetual license prices starting at under $5,000.

About Nallatech
Nallatech is a leader in high performance FPGA-based computing, helping the HPC community address the challenges of delivering improved price/performance, increased performance-density and reduced power consumption of clusters. Nallatech addresses these needs, enabling applications implemented on clusters to be accelerated using FPGA compute technology. Built with the aim of simplifying the design and creation of scalable clusters, Nallatech provides the most flexible FPGA-based computing solution available on the market today. Products within the series are available as integrated solutions for IBM(R) BladeCenter(R) and eServer(TM) systems, as well as expansion cards suitable for most cluster systems.