DRC Computer and Impulse Accelerated Technologies have integrated the Impulse C-to-FPGA tools with the DRC Accelium coprocessor card. The integration enables software engineers to fully access hardware acceleration using familiar C programming methods. It provides C-language control of I/O, memory, streams and signals at the hardware level, allowing applications to leverage the high parallelism possible in FPGAs for higher performance.
FPGA devices can be used as accelerators for non-sequential algorithms. FPGAs have been successfully deployed by engineering teams ranging from defense and aerospace, including NASA, to financial computing. Using the Impulse C-to-FPGA tools, applications written in C can be implemented as multiple streaming processes in FPGAs. Using the DRC Computer Accelium coprocessor card, application performance and throughput can increase by 10X, 100X, or more. Typical applications include image analysis, data mining and encryption.
The integration is the work of Synective Labs, a long-standing partner to DRC and Impulse, specializing in hardware acceleration solutions. The Synective team developed robust links from ANSI C to all the key hardware features of the DRC boards. This enables DRC users to write or import C code and compile all the way to hardware, without having to become hardware experts.
Migration to future FPGA-based accelerators also becomes easier. Most if not all of the design code is abstracted from hardware such that the design and test code can be easily retargeted to new platforms as they emerge. Many design teams are finding that their investment in software development is eclipsing their investment in hardware development, increasing the pressure to select methodologies that lend themselves best to quickly deploying future platforms as they emerge.