Bridging ESL and High-Level SynthesisMentor adds SystemC support into Catapult C
As the market for high-level synthesis becomes more crowded - conveniently timed to coincide with the rising complexity at advanced process nodes - vendors have begun pushing the tools to do far more than ever before.
The latest entry in that camp belongs to Mentor Graphics, which today took the covers off the enhanced version of its Catapult C. The new version includes allows direct SystemC input, so engineers can run synthesis in the same language in which TLM 2.0 is written. Being able to link up SystemC with ANSI C++ in the same tool marks a major step forward.
Tools to combine operations have been a particular focus of companies working on advanced chips in portable electronics. Japanese companies, in particular, have been pushing U.S. EDA companies to extend the reach of their tools and combine functionality so there are less steps up front and during the verification process.
"This brings the best of two languages together," said Shawn McCloud, Mentor’s product line director for Catapult C synthesis. "The future is around transaction-level abstract communications. This allows you to choose the language that works best for you."
McCloud said that one of the complaints Mentor has been hearing from RTL engineers is, ‘You can’t do all of my chip.’ "This eliminates that resistance," he said. The new suite now bridges everything from cycle-accurate SystemC to untimed C++ at the highest abstraction level.
In the three-way race between Mentor, Forte Design Systems and now Synopsys, this has become a game of technology leapfrog. The question is what the other large players in this market will do to respond.