Posts Tagged ‘Aldec’
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.
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.
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!
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.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Breaking the Bottleneck of RTL Simulation
Utilizing hardware acceleration in a System-on-Chip verification cycle can speed-up HDL simulation runs from 10-100x, while providing the robust debugging available from an RTL simulator. Acceleration (also referred to as Co-Simulation) combines the speed of FPGA-based prototyping boards, by offloading resource hungry modules into the FPGA, while non-synthesizable constructs of the testbench remain in the RTL simulator.
Monday, July 22nd, 2013
To Accelerate DSP Design Development
If we’re being honest, human beings, especially engineers, are lazy. Let’s face it, most inventions ever made were created for the sole purpose of making our lives easier. The same goes for the manner in which we create our designs. In the not so distant past, engineers were drawing designs by hand on huge trace paper, placing them one below the other to form layers. This sounds like hard work to me! The lazy me would have wanted a smart (read: easy) solution to this process. Then along comes the EDA industry, which Aldec has been part of since 1984, making it much easier for us to do our designs.
Some might argue that EDA was born out not out of laziness, but in fact neccessity, due to increasing design complexity. True, it is impossible to imagine how the pencil and paper method could even work today. The point is it didn’t, and we now have automated the process to such an extent all you need do is enter some parameters in a tool wizard.
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
An Interview with FAA Consultant DER, Randall Fulton
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with an avionics industry certification expert, FAA Consultant Designated Engineering Representative (DER), Randall Fulton. We began discussing common mistakes in DO-254 projects, and then branched out to many different areas including future of DO-254, industry engineering best practices, and his advice to organizations new to DO-254.
Louie: In your experience, what are the common mistakes in DO-254 projects?
Randall: Starting certification liaison activities and the SOI-1 planning audit after the design already exists. Many projects also need to read the additional guidance from the FAA in Order 8110.105 to understand the impact and be prepared to show the data to satisfy the Order. Organizations also underestimate the resources required for a project. This includes staffing as well as managing all the data. Another common area is not appreciating the impact of effective requirements writing skills.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Free DAC INSIGHT Presentation
At the fast-approaching Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2013 in Austin, TX, Aldec will co-host an INSIGHT Session with Agilent Technologies on how to validate a digital signal processing algorithm for both floating and fixed point levels. As Riviera-PRO Product Manager, I will join Agilent Senior Product Marketing Engineer FAE, Sangkyo Shin, on Wednesday, June 5th at 2pm in presenting a combined Agilent/Aldec FPGA flow that can be used to quickly validate communications digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and accelerate physical layer (PHY) performance measurements.
Mr. Shin will review the system-level design challenges and how to solve them using the SystemVue™ software, which provides the capabilities needed to evaluate and design modern communication systems and related products. I will then take the auto-generated HDL code from a system-level concept down to HDL simulation in Aldec Riviera-PRO™ and FPGA implementation on Aldec HES-5™ hardware prototyping board. Attendees will gain valuable insight on the cross-domain approach to traditional FPGA design flow and learn how to validate FPGA design for leading edge wireless and radar system with a system-level simulation tool integrated into the traditional hardware design flow.