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Nanette Collins
Nanette Collins
Boston-based Nanette Collins is the 2013 recipient of the Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award, presented annually to an individual who has helped advance women in the EDA industry. She started Nanette V. Collins Marketing and Public Relations in 1994 after working as director of … More »

Patience and Fortitude Pay Off for Forte

May 23rd, 2013 by Nanette Collins

When EDACafe last looked in on Forte Design Systems in September 2012, writer Russ Henke learned from its founder and technical visionary John Sanguinetti, “Patience and fortitude really do characterize Forte. We’ve kept at it and appreciate our success.”

So it does. As the industry heads into DAC, the news from Forte, exhibiting in Booth #1547 June 3-5, is great. Really great, in fact.

First, Gary Smith EDA conferred the ranking of #1 provider of electronic system-level (ESL) synthesis software at the end of last year. No small feat and no matter that Forte prefers to call its software category high-level synthesis (HLS), it bested a market segment that included three other vendors. This is a huge win and a validation of everything the company’s done since it launched itself at Forte in 2001. (EDACafe readers will remember that Forte is the merger of CynApps and Chronology.)

Next, Forte’s on Gary Smith EDA’s What to See at DAC 2013 List and for good reason. EDACafe readers who stop by the Forte booth will be offered demonstrations of the newly launched Cynthesizer 5 SystemC high-level synthesis, perhaps the most important Forte announcement in years.

What to See@DAC 2013

For those readers unfamiliar with Forte’s Cynthesizer, it automatically creates high-quality RTL design implementations for ASIC, SoC, and FPGA targets from a high- level SystemC/C++ description. Cynthesizer’s proven successes in hundreds of production designs around the world are testament to its consistently high quality of results, mature feature set, and complete design coverage. The latest version has low power synthesis capabilities, increased performance and capacity across the entire tool and includes core synthesis algorithms, and a new SystemC IDE.  Brett Cline, Forte’s vice president of marketing and sales, can’t help but be proud of the new tool and the team that built it: “Cynthesizer 5 defines the next generation of high-level synthesis technologies. We leveraged more than a decade of production design experience to allow design teams to get to better results more quickly. Cynthesizer continues to lead the way for quality of results and now includes several advanced optimizations for low power design.”

Forte’s Cynthesizer 5 defines the next generation of high-level synthesis technologies.

From the news release dated May 14: Cynthesizer 5 includes Forte’s new “C5” synthesis core, introducing a new architecture that combines the scheduling and allocation phases of the tool, improving predictability and quality of results. New scheduling algorithms allow Cynthesizer to quickly test multiple design microarchitectures and schedules to find the best possible area, performance, and power based on the designers constraints. For existing users, the new C5 core improves area results 9% on average compared to previous Cynthesizer releases. The full news release can be found at:

Back at the Forte booth, CellMath Floating Point IP will be demonstrated, too. Design teams from all over the world are standardizing on Forte’s CellMath IP for GPUs, FPUs, and SIMDs due to better performance, area, and customizability. Beer will be served Tuesday from 3 until 6 p.m. If you haven’t made it to the Forte booth before then, stop by to greet John, Brett, Sean Dart, Forte’s president and chief executive officer, Matt Marshall, Mike Meredith, Dave Pursley and the rest of the Forte crew.

Here’s the Forte team from last DAC. Sean Dart is third from right, John Sanguinetti is sixth from right. Brett Cline is third from left.

To see all the great new features and benefits of Cynthesizer 5 or the latest CellMath Floating Point IP capabilities, schedule a personalized demo during DAC through: Also, Forte will highlight the work of high-level SystemC IP provider Adapt-IP as well as a joint flow with Ansys’ Apache on low power.

Forte’s in the DAC technical program as well. Cynthesizer users from NTT in Japan will offer a look at how they deployed the tool during a presentation titled, “Parallel Design Methodology for Video Codec LSI with High-Level Synthesis and FPGA-Based Platform,” during Designer Track Session #8. It will be held Wednesday, June 5, from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. in Room 18C.

While it’s too late to take advantage of “I Love DAC”, a way for DAC attendees to get free three-day exhibit floor passes, it’s worth noting that Forte’s a sponsor this year of the popular program. Thanks, Forte!

Forte’s a sponsor this year of the popular I Love DAC program.

Let’s backtrack a bit to January when Forte impressively reported that 2012 was its seventh consecutive year of revenue growth. Sean Dart noted in a prepared statement, “Our commitment to high-value software and top-notch support was validated in 2012 as we moved into the #1 slot for ESL synthesis. We’re looking forward to building upon this success with continued growth forecast for high-level synthesis and our intellectual property offerings for 2013.”

This success translated into a remarkable 22% growth in 2012 and the addition of new HLS users in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States, many of whom were using competitive C-synthesis products. Cynthesizer was deployed more widely in several large semiconductor companies throughout the U.S., Korea, and Japan. Forte’s IP businesses has been expanding as well as design teams implemented the IP into GPUs and custom processors.

One of the new customers is LG Electronics from Seoul, Korea, who is using Cynthesizer for its next-generation DTV design project. After evaluating several HLS software tools, LG selected Cynthesizer for its notable productivity improvements, including faster turnaround time and better QoR over handwritten code, and its ability to reduce power consumption. View the news release at:

Forte will host DAC’s closing with a bagpiper’s performance Wednesday, June 5, at 5:50 p.m., a tradition Forte’s kept alive and a fitting end to our profile. EDACafe readers need patience and fortitude to make it through three days of DAC, but will want to stick around to the end and head over to the Forte Booth #1547 for the return of the bagpipers.

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