ARM, Synplicity Ensure Seamless Design Flow for Cortex-M1 Processor

Synplicity, Inc. (Nasdaq:SYNP), a leading supplier of FPGA synthesis software and ARM (LSE:ARM)(Nasdaq:ARMHY) have announced a joint marketing and collaboration agreement which includes a reference methodology for the recently launched ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M1 processor – the first ARM processor specifically designed for implementation in FPGA.

The two companies have also agreed to work together to further support easy system integration of the Cortex-M1 processor using the Synplicity tool chain. With the signing of this marketing and collaboration agreement, ARM and Synplicity will work together to ensure that mutual customers can successfully implement the ARM processor across a range of FPGA device families. The ARM-Synplicity joint reference methodology ensures that a broad number of companies can easily and effectively leverage the ARM technology and Synplicity software.

Under this marketing and collaboration agreement Synplicity, a member of the ARM Connected Community, will put processes in place to ensure that customers have a seamless design flow for Cortex-M1 processors. Synplicity’s R&D team will use the Cortex-M1 processor as part of standard product validation procedures. Synplicity’s corporate engineering also has access to the Cortex-M1 processor IP to provide mutual customer support.

ARM worked closely with Synplicity during the development of the Cortex-M1 processor and used Synplicity’s industry-leading Synplify Pro synthesis software extensively during the development process.

“Synplicity’s involvement was a significant benefit during the development of the Cortex-M1 processor,” said Graham Budd, Executive VP and General Manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The ARM design team was keen to ensure the Cortex-M1 processor was optimized for multiple FPGA targets. Synplicity’s vendor independent flow enabled us to achieve this with minimum overhead, ensuring that the processor can be implemented on the widest possible range of FPGA devices.”

“ARM’s entry into the FPGA market is a watershed event by bringing an industry standard processor to FPGA design,” said Joe Gianelli, VP business development, Synplicity. “The intent of our long-term partnership with ARM is to increase the awareness and provide optimal implementation of ARM processors for FPGA design.”

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor is the first ARM processor specifically designed for implementation on FPGA and extends the range of the ARM Cortex processor family, enabling OEMs to standardize around a common architecture across the performance spectrum. The processor implements a subset of the popular, high-density Thumb(R)-2 instruction set which enables both the processor and software footprint to meet the area budget of the smallest FPGA devices, while retaining compatibility with Thumb code for any ARM processor from the ARM7TDMI(R) processor upwards.

The Cortex-M1 processor is capable of more than 170 MHz, whilst occupying less than 15 percent area of popular low-cost FPGA devices. Despite being the smallest processor in the Cortex family, the Cortex-M1 processor can deliver 0.8 DMIPS/MHz.

Tools and Peripherals Support
The Cortex-M1 processor will be fully supported by the ARM RealView(R) Development Suite and RealView Microcontroller Development Kit. The RealView Development Suite includes a complete instruction set system model (ISSM) enabling developers to create and test applications for the Cortex-M1 processor out of the box. For improved integration into tool-flows, the Cortex-M1 processor is supported with an XML description adhering to the IP-XACT(TM) specification from The SPIRIT Consortium.

The ARM-Synplicity reference methodology for the Cortex-M1 processor includes capabilities for physical and logic synthesis design flows. Synplicity’s FPGA synthesis solutions help programmable logic designers rapidly achieve aggressive performance objectives. Synplicity’s family of FPGA synthesis solutions includes the Synplify software, Synplify Pro logic synthesis software and the Synplify Premier physical synthesis software. The Synplify Pro software is the industry’s most widely used FPGA synthesis solution, utilizing a true timing-driven approach to synthesis. The software delivers the performance needed to meet a design’s timing requirements and then optimizes the circuit for area, saving significantly on chip cost. The Synplify Premier solution builds upon Synplicity’s industry-leading synthesis technology and adds new graph-based physical synthesis and real-time, simulator-like visibility into operating FPGA devices. Graph-based physical synthesis provides rapid timing closure and a 5-20 percent timing improvement.

The reference methodology is available now from both companies.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from mobile, home and enterprise solutions to embedded and emerging applications. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, graphics processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.

About the ARM Connected Community
The ARM Connected Community is a global network of companies aligned to provide a complete solution, from design to manufacture and end use, for products based on the ARM architecture. ARM offers a variety of resources to Community members, including promotional programs and peer-networking opportunities that enable a variety of ARM Partners to come together to provide end-to-end customer solutions.

About Synplicity
Synplicity(R) Inc. (Nasdaq:SYNP) is a leading supplier of innovative software solutions that enable the rapid and effective design of Programmable Logic Devices (FPGAs, PLDs and CPLDs) that serve a wide range of communications, military/aerospace, consumer, semiconductor, computer, and other electronic systems markets. Synplicity’s tools provide outstanding performance, cost and time-to-market benefits by simplifying, improving and automating key design planning, logic synthesis, physical synthesis and verification functions for FPGA, FPGA-based ASIC verification, and DSP designers. Synplicity is the number one supplier of FPGA synthesis solutions and has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction since 2004 in EE Times’ Annual FPGA Customer Survey. Synplicity products support industry-standard design languages (VHDL and Verilog) and run on popular platforms. The company operates in over 20 facilities worldwide and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

ARM, Thumb, ARM7TDMI, and RealView are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex is a trademark of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM” is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; AXYS Design Automation Inc.; AXYS GmbH; ARM Embedded Solutions Pvt. Ltd.; and ARM Physical IP, Inc.; and ARM Norway AS.

Synplicity, Synplify Pro and Synplify are registered trademarks of Synplicity Inc.