Synfora PICO Express FPGA Algorithmic Synthesis

PICO Express FPGA, from Synfora Inc., is an advanced algorithmic synthesis technology optimized for Xilinx high-performance 65nm Virtex(tm)-5 and low-cost Spartan(tm)-3A DSP FPGAs. PICO Express FPGA enables the implementation of large and complex sub-systems such as video codecs, wireless modems, or imaging pipelines achieving results that are in line with hand crafted designs. PICO Express FPGA is currently available, US pricing starts at $150,000.

The new tool is a result of collaboration between Xilinx Inc. and Synfora to build a product that can synthesize efficient, multi-block pipelines from ANSI C algorithms targeting Xilinx advanced FPGAs. PICO Express FPGA is architected to mask much of the implementation complexity by transforming an untimed sequential C algorithm into parallel, timed multi-block pipelines that automatically take advantage of the hardware resources embedded in the FPGA devices. This enables FPGA developers to significantly reduce the time it takes to go from concept to production.

PICO Express FPGA allows the user to have a sequential, untimed C programming model, while still creating efficient hardware for complex multi-block pipelines. This enables powerful what-if design space exploration and eliminates the error prone and time consuming step of rewriting the algorithm into RTL. PICO Express FPGA integrates seamlessly with Xilinx ISE(tm) design tools and has been designed to take advantage of the embedded DSP and memory features of Xilinx FPGAs without the user having to make any changes to the algorithm. This permits the designers to explore within and across Xilinx product families.

The new FPGA-specific algorithmic synthesis technology is able to build efficient hardware from complex algorithms that approaches the performance of RTL hand design with significantly reduced design time. PICO Express FPGA enables designers to synthesize complex, multi-block pipelines from a single algorithm without having to perform any form of post-synthesis assembly, therefore more powerful design exploration and optimization can be applied to the final hardware.

PICO Express FPGA is based on Synfora’s PICO platform, which has already been production-proven in the ASIC domain. PICO Express FPGA takes an untimed C algorithm, clock frequency and throughput requirements, and Xilinx device as the target for the hardware. PICO Express FPGA creates a complete verification testbench and interfaces to industry standard simulators, synthesis and place and route tools. The technology can also create a range of SystemC models to empower full system validation and analysis.

More info: Synfora