CriticalBlue Broadens Target Silicon Platform Deployment Choices
March 22, 2007
Driven by customer demand, CriticalBlue’s Cascade now supports an expanded range of FPGA and Structured ASIC technologies, in addition to its traditional SoC target
San Jose, California – March 22, 2007 – CriticalBlue, a provider of tools for accelerating software in embedded microprocessor applications, has announced enhanced support to its Cascade coprocessor synthesis solution for FPGA and Structured ASIC silicon platforms. Based on CriticalBlue’s work with leading semiconductor and systems customers on deployment options for their embedded software, Cascade is now able to offer a flow that targets processor implementations in Xilinx VirtexTM and SpartanTM Platform FPGAs as well as eASIC’s NextremeTM Structured ASIC fabric. These new capabilities deliver additional choices to customers who are seeking the most appropriate silicon deployment vehicle for their embedded software products.
“We have noted that customers are looking at more than just the right point on the performance/power curve in their search for a suitable silicon platform for their software.” stated David Stewart, CEO, CriticalBlue. “Getting to market quickly in the first instance, then staying current in the market through application software updates in the field, and finally being able to switch deployment platforms as required by market economics are key reasons that customers cite for using the Cascade eco-system.”
The Cascade eco-system enables existing embedded software applications to be targeted onto any member of the full range of solutions offered by SoC, Structured ASIC and FPGA vendors within a very short development time, balancing the conflicting demands of power consumption, performance, silicon cost and programmability targets.
Delivering deployment choices
Cascade’s coprocessor synthesis boosts embedded system processing performance by creating loosely coupled programmable coprocessors which accelerate the execution of compiled binary executable software code offloaded from the main processor in the system. Investigation of the performance/power/cost tradeoffs of different target silicon platforms is easily achieved inside Cascade through automated exploration of many different architectural variants, platform options and software-hardware partitions without modification to the application software and without knowledge of processor design.
CriticalBlue and Xilinx at ESC Silicon Valley 2007
CriticalBlue will be showing an accelerated imaging demonstration running on a Virtex-4 development board. The performance of the original application software, running on the Xilinx MicroBlazeTM 32-bit soft processor, -morewill be contrasted with the same software offloaded onto an automatically optimized programmable coprocessor in the VirtexTM-4 fabric. This software-friendly flow works with the PowerPC and MicroBlaze processors and targets both Virtex and Spartan product families.
“The key to increasing the customer base for our silicon platforms is the creation of a level of abstraction that appeals to software engineers,” stated Steve Lass, senior director of Software Product Marketing at Xilinx.
“CriticalBlue’s Cascade solution, which works directly from compiled embedded software with no coding or language restrictions, is the natural bridge which enables software applications to be rapidly deployed on Xilinx FPGA devices.”
CriticalBlue will also be showcased in the Xilinx ESC booth #724 as one of the founding ecosystem members of the Xilinx ESL Initiative.
CriticalBlue and eASIC at ESC Silicon Valley 2007
CriticalBlue will be participating with eASIC in the conference session “How to Design Cost-Optimized Configurable Embedded Systems with ARM926EJ”. CriticalBlue will demonstrate how a software-centric approach can quickly add functionality and performance to ARM-based systems. During the session, additional graphics functionality is defined within the normal ARM software development flow and then immediately realized as programmable coprocessors on the eASIC NextremeTM fabric.
CriticalBlue’s Cascade accelerates embedded software by generating programmable, application-optimized coprocessors for implementation in FPGAs and structured ASICs. Cascade accepts application binaries as input, allowing code to be accelerated without modification while fitting naturally into your established software development flow. With Cascade, your product’s core value remains in software. For more information visit www.criticalblue.com.
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