Synplicity to use IP-Xact to get IP into FPGAs

Synplicity has embraced the Spirit IP-Xact standard for describing intellectual property cores in a tool the company has developed that should make it easier to pull IP into large field-programmable gate array (FPGA) designs.

SystemDesigner is an IP configuration and assembly tool that the company has added to the two versions of its Synplify FPGA logic synthesis tool. Users pick from IP delivered with the IP-Xact metadata, which, when they select the cores they want, is used to help configure the design.

Synplicity said SystemDesigner is a tool to help with its ReadyIP initiative, a programme that is meant to ease the job of incorporating third-party IP in FPGA designs. ARM, CAST, Gaisler Research and Tensilica have joined as charter members of ReadyIP and have agreed to provide some of their cores through the programme. These cores can be delivered in encrypted form, based on the current form of the OpenIP standard, for evaluation with other IP and logic, then incorporated into a design when purchased.

“FPGAs have evolved into system-implementation vehicles by virtue of the increased speed, capacity, dedicated resources and the time-to market advantages they have over SoCs,” said Angela Sutton, senior product marketing manager at Synplicity. “The System Designer capability answers customers’ needs for system-level implementation tools by allowing them, for the first time, to access IP from a range of vendors, evaluate the IP in the context of their design and then easily implement the system in their choice of FPGA.”

Doug Amos, director of European business development at Synplicity, said the company is supporting version 1.2 of the IP-Xact standard rather than the recently released 1.4 version as the company is focusing on RTL code. The newer IP-Xact has a number of features aimed at system-level models. The company is looking at using the tight generator interface defined in version 1.4 as it could provide some additional features in SystemDesigner. “We see that it could be very good in hierarchical mode for delivery of IP in even bigger projects,” said Amos.

SystemDesigner is based around the open-source Eclipse development environment and will allow IP developed by users themselves that have the IP-Xact metadata added to be reused in the same way as the third-party cores.

Synplicity's aim is to make it easier to use third-party IP in large FPGA designs

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