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Archive for the ‘FPGA Design’ Category

Looking for Practical Holiday Gift Ideas?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Happy Holidays! We’ve made it to Day 4 of Aldec’s #12DaysofUsefulGifts giveaway. If you’ve been keeping up with us on Twitter and YouTube, you know that we’ve given away some fun prizes already. But that’s just the beginning, the prizes will get larger each day until the contest ends on December 12th!

If you are looking for some practical and useful gift ideas for the holidays, take a look at some of the fun prizes we’ve already given away.

Day #1day-1_400 Day #2day-2_400
Professional Cleaning Set for DSLR Cameras

Air Vent Mount for Cell Phones

Winner! Jonathan S.

Miles Kimball Manual Hand Held Shredder

Bushnell Falcon 7×35 Binoculars with Case

Winner! Alan S.

Day #3day-3_400 Day #4day-4_400
Magisso Tea Cup

Grillight LED BBQ Spatula

Winner! Daniel H.

Sugru Hardware Sealer

Pocketmonkey Wallet Multi-Tool

Could be you! Enter today at

www.aldec.com/survey

 

To enter Aldec’s #12DaysOfUsefulGifts drawing, visit www.aldec.com/survey. There you will take a brief verification survey and automatically be entered to win. You only need to take the survey once to be eligible for daily drawings from Dec 1st-12th. You can also earn additional chances to win by sharing the contest link and viewing the daily contest video. Follow Aldec on Twitter where we will announce each day’s winner and unveil the next day’s prize. Good luck!

 

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The 80s music at DAC was my idea. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

If you attended the Monday Night Reception at DAC 2014, you were greeted with a blast of 80s pop music. If you then said to yourself, “I’d like to meet the genius behind that idea” – that would be me. A few weeks before DAC, our marketing manager came to me with the task of being the DJ for the Monday night reception. As soon as I heard “DJ” I envisioned turntables, cool headphones, disco lights and all the fame that follows. My dreams were dashed a few moments later when she explained that I would only have a PA and a laptop.

Undaunted, I resolved to be the best DJ in the history of DAC Monday Night Networking Receptions. The first challenge was finding music everyone would enjoy. I naturally settled on 80s pop as my genre. I had the brilliant idea of picking a few songs from each year and playing it as a progressive 80s timeline during the evening. I changed my mind when I realized that bright idea would require some serious manual research and work.

Did I give up? Of course not. I did what any good engineer would do – I found an easy (and smart) solution that did not require substantial extra effort – a bit like re-using verification ip’s instead of making them from scratch. This level of engineering genius is often mistakenly perceived as laziness, but I like to call it being smart. In fact I recently wrote a blog on the topic of working smart not hard.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Much has changed in the last 30 years

Friday, January 10th, 2014

When I first launched Aldec in 1984, home computers hadn’t quite taken off and innovations such as the compact disk and those oversized, power draining cellphones were still struggling to obtain mass acceptance.

Fast forward 30 years, even those of us in the electronics industry have whiplash from the speed at which technology is advancing and delivering new products. Buyers are more eager to become early adopters of innovative new technology, and smarter, faster tools are required to keep pace.

As a long-time member of the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) community, Aldec has had a front row seat to the technology race and over the years we have celebrated many successes of our own. Here, our product managers reflect on some of our most memorable highlights from 2013.

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It’s no accident that Aldec offers the best VHDL-2008 support

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Here at the Aldec corporate office, we have a sign that reminds us all of our mission in the field of Technology. It reads, ‘To deliver solutions that provide the highest productivity to value ratio; supporting our existing products while delivering innovation to current and new technologies’. We have similar statements to reaffirm our commitment in the areas of Research, Alliances, and Culture – we call it our “Aldec DNA”.

Because we genuinely want to have a clear understanding of our user’s requirements and methodology preferences, we continually engage in surveys and interviews.  The knowledge we gain better positions us to support our existing products and to deliver that support where it matters the most to our users. If you’ve ever had that frustrating experience where your favorite tool no longer supports your methodology of choice – then you understand why this is so important.

Our Commitment to the VHDL Community

When it comes to VHDL-2008, we have learned from our customers that many are happy using the methodology – and continue to successfully deliver cutting-edge technology with it. So, while we remain committed to delivering innovation to new technologies, our R&D teams also invest a great deal of development time to ensure that Aldec solutions continue to offer a high level of support for popular languages like VHDL.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

Aldec and NEC reveal HLS shortcut at upcoming SoC Conference

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is popular for many things, but I recall during my school days that it was distinctly known among students for its underground tunnel network. The official story is that they were simply built to house heating and cooling pipes. Yet, the rumor persists that this complex maze of underground tunnels was constructed decades ago to provide safe passage for faculty members in case of student riots.

I’ll admit I would love to uncover these tunnels someday, unfortunately they have long been sealed off from curiosity seekers. I will, however, be at the UCI campus next week unraveling a different sort of maze for engineers attending the annual International SoC Conference. Aldec is once again a Platinum Sponsor for this popular academic conference, and this year I will be joined by NEC Corporation’s Dr. Wakabayashi to present a technical session:

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The WHAT is mandatory but the HOW is entirely optional

Monday, September 9th, 2013

You look confused. Perhaps I owe you an explanation. Anyone familiar with hardware design flow knows that it starts with specification and ends with implementation. The specification in this flow is the “What” – it defines what needs to be designed. The process for implementation is the “How” – it defines how you are going to achieve it.

Let’s break down just one part of the “How” or implementation – the Design Process. For many years hand-coded RTL has been used as the de facto method for implementation and it is still being used as predominant method for designing cutting-edge hardware. But does it follow that it is the most efficient method? I would say probably not, especially given the ever-growing complexity of the hardware.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

90’s Kid Active-HDL Celebrates Sweet 16

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

As the proud Product Manager of Aldec’s  FPGA Design Simulation solution,  I am excited (like it was my first Cranberries concert) to announce that Active-HDL™ is celebrating 16 years since its initial release in 1997. Active-HDL has not merely stood the test of time, it has dominated the FPGA market like a Hulk Hogan smackdown with powerful simulation performance and debugging tools.

The key to Active-HDL’s long-term success lies in Aldec’s customer-centric philosophy. Simply put, we really do listen closely to our users and invest heavily in our tools. For this reason, continued simulation performance optimizations from release to release enable users to benefit from Active-HDL’s faster simulation even as the size of FPGA designs continues to grow.

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The Magic of CyberWorkBench

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Dr. Benjamin Carrion Schafer, Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (and longtime fan of Aldec’s latest offering, CyberworkBench from NEC) was kind enough to author a guest blog for Aldec. Here’s an excerpt:

My first encounter with NEC’s CyberWorkBench (CWB) was in 2003 while attending DAC. Like most people, I was surprised to see a big Japanese company offering EDA tools. NEC is definitely known more for its consumer products and telecommunication equipment. I have to admit, the main reason I stopped at their booth – was that they had hired a magician.

This magician told the audience he would teach us a trick and give us a set of magic cards if we stayed until the end of the presentation. I did and I received my set of magic cards (which I still keep). At the same time I also became a CWB user and even wound up working for NEC.

As an assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, I currently teach advanced VLSI courses and use CWB. It has some amazing capabilities. Let’s start with the fact that it supports ANSI-C and SystemC. Although SystemC might be a step in the right direction to have a unique standardized IEEE language, supported by all main HLS tools, it is not very intuitive and takes some time to master (especially if the user does not have a C++ background). Here is where ANSI-C support becomes very handy. Most people do know ANSI-C and it is very straightforward to convert any ANSI-C SW description into synthesizable C code.

For the rest of this article, visit the Aldec Design and Verification Blog.

HW Designers: Brush up on your SV with Online Training

Monday, August 12th, 2013

 

Fast Track to SystemVerilog for Verilog Users

The ability to adopt methodologies and get up to speed quickly is critical in today’s fast moving environment. Aldec offers Fast Track™ ONLINE trainings designed for busy engineers to increase their productivity and enhance their skill level from the comfort of their own browser.

Got SystemVerilog? While it may be a fashionable topic among verification engineers, it’s generally a shunned subject among hardware designers. While there are many good reasons for this (overgrown size of the SystemVerilog standard, expensive options required to use many language features in simulation, poor support in low-end tools, etc.), designers familiar with classical Verilog can benefit greatly from the features available in the Design Subset of SystemVerilog. Designing state machines is one excellent example. It is as easy and elegant in SystemVerilog as it is in VHDL – and those machines even synthesize in better tools!

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Legacy Schematic Designs Giving you a Headache?

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Retargeting Legacy Designs for New Technology

Digital design has come a long way since its inception from drawing schematic on paper, to CAD tools which can be used to draw schematics, and to today’s most popular (and efficient) process of describing designs through HDLs.

I recently encountered a customer with a legacy design developed in block diagram format. If he hadn’t been an Aldec customer, he might have been stuck. Fortunately,  Aldec Active-HDL™ provides utilities for importing legacy schematic based designs from Xilinx® Foundation Series, ViewLogic™, ViewDraw™, Active-CAD™ or any schematic tools that can output an EDIF netlist.

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