Synfora PICO High Level Synthesis Platform Certified in Berkeley Design Technology’s New Tool Certification Program
Mountain View, Calif. –January 19, 2010 – The PICO High Level Synthesis Platform from Synfora, Inc., the premier provider of high level synthesis tools for integrated circuit and system designers, has achieved certification in Berkeley Design Technology, Inc.’s (BDTI’s) new High-Level Synthesis Tool Certification Program™. An FPGA-based implementation of a complex video motion analysis algorithm (the BDTI Optical Flow™ application) using PICO C synthesis tools outperformed a traditional DSP processor implementation on throughput by a factor over 40x achieving a processing rate of 204 frames per second and provided a 30X price/performance advantage over DSPs. The PICO implementation required fewer code modifications to the reference code than the DSP implementation to achieve the best performance.
An important result of BDTI’s Optical Flow application analysis is that the overall development efforts for the FPGA based system and the DSP based system were comparable even though somewhat different skill sets were required. Evaluation results for the PICO High Level Synthesis platform produced results with an area efficiency comparable to a hand-coded RTL design. On the second BDTI Work Flow, the design implemented with the PICO High Level Synthesis platform required only 6.4% of FPGA resources compared to 5.9% for the hand coded design.
In its PICO certification results report, BDTI wrote: “High-level synthesis (HLS) and design tools are of particular importance for FPGAs: the capacity and capabilities of FPGAs have expanded rapidly, but the ability of engineers to make effective use of FPGAs has not kept pace.”
“BDTI has shown that PICO can be easily adopted by development teams comprising software and RTL engineers to target designs to FPGAs and in doing so achieve up to 30 times the processing performance of DSP processors for the same dollar spent on silicon,” says Vin Ratford, Senior VP World Wide Marketing, Xilinx.
“The IC Design community benefits from having independent evaluation data,” said Vinod Kathail, founder and CTO of Synfora. “These new BDTI Certification results demonstrate what our customers already know – that PICO C Synthesis works. PICO excels at complex, high performance designs delivering QoR competitive with hand design from untimed C. Our customers have seen compelling results while successfully implementing multi-million gate designs that consume approximately 80% of the biggest Virtex devices.”
BDTI is a respected independent analysis firm that employs a rigorous evaluation methodology to measure the quality of results (performance and price-performance of designs) and usability (productivity and ease-of-use) of DSPs, FPGAs and high-level synthesis tools. BDTI benchmark suites are recognized world-wide by processor vendors and systems developers alike as the most trusted means to understand the relative capabilities of embedded processing devices and tools.
To evaluate the PICO High Level Synthesis platform, BDTI used two complex DSP applications. The first is an Optical Flow video motion analysis application, which was used to compare the performance and price performance of an FPGA-based implementation using PICO C synthesis tools with an implementation on a TI TMS320 DSP using TI’s software development tool chain. The second is a wireless receiver application, which was used to compare the relative cost efficiency of an implementation obtained using the PICO C synthesis flow with a Xilinx FPGA compared to an implementation which used hand-coded RTL. In addition, BDTI engineers using PICO C synthesis tools to independently implement designs scored the tool on a number of usability metrics including out-of-the-box experience, ease of use, the extent of modification to the reference code, skill level required, the effort required to get to a first compiling version and the total effort required.
For complete benchmarking results, go to http://www.synfora.com/BDTI
Synfora, Inc. is the premier provider of high level synthesis tools used to design complex systems-on-chips (SoCs) and FPGAs. Synfora's PICO C Synthesis tool offers designers of large, complex subsystems productivity gains at the highest-level design abstraction and delivers high QoR. Synfora serves customers worldwide in the audio, video, imaging, wireless, and security segments of the integrated circuit (IC) design market. The company's investors are ATA Ventures, Foundation Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, Wafra, and Xilinx. For the latest information on Synfora, please visit http://www.synfora.com.