MIT Team Places First in Hardware-Software Co-Design Contest

A five-member team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took home the winner’s cup in the second annual hardware/software co-design contest sponsored by the ACM-IEEE International Conference on Formal Methods and Models for Co-Design (MEMOCODE 2007). The winning design was completed using the Bluespec electronic system level (ESL) synthesis environment.

Nirav Dave, Kermin Fleming, Myron King, Michael Pellauer and Muralidaran Vijayaraghavan from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab were voted winners of the design contest by MEMOCODE 2007 attendees, held in June in Nice, France. Nine teams of United States and European university students started the contest, with only MIT and Virginia Tech submitting a final design.

“We are tremendously proud of the MIT team and our ESL synthesis environment,” says Charlie Hauck, Bluespec’s chief executive officer (CEO). “They were able to show emphatically the ease with which our tool can enable hardware-software partitioning and rapid architectural exploration.”

The challenge was to implement a high-performance matrix-matrix multiplication (MMM) using any hardware and software design methodology targeting any field programmable gate array (FPGA) development platform. Contest organizers Forrest Brewer from the University of Santa Barbara and James C. Hoe of Carnegie Mellon University provided a software-only starter reference solution for the Xilinx XUP development board. A description of the contest and a summary of the completed solutions are available.

MEMOCODE 2007 gathers researchers and practitioners in the field of the design of modern hardware and software systems to explore ways in which future design methods can benefit from new results on formal methods. It is sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Embedded Systems (SIGBED) and Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA), IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CAS) and IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA).

About Bluespec
Bluespec Inc. manufactures industry standards-based Electronic Design Automation (EDA) toolsets that significantly raise the level of abstraction for hardware design while retaining the ability to automatically synthesize high-quality RTL, without compromising speed, power or area. The toolsets, including the only ESL synthesis tools focused on control and complex datapaths, allow ASIC and FPGA designers to 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.

Bluespec is a trademark of Bluespec Inc.