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Have you been weighing the pros and cons of replacing a hand-coded RTL methodology with high-level synthesis (HLS)? For Socionext, using HLS certainly yielded benefits in performance, power, and area for its advanced IP and SoC designs.
A developer of SoCs and software for video/imaging and networking applications with headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, Socionext was one of about 50 Cadence customers who shared their experiences, lessons learned, and best practices at the Cadence Theater at this year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco. Most of these presentations are now available online for viewing.
In his talk, “High-Level Synthesis: a Winning Technology,” Masato Tatsuoka from Socionext’s front-end design department in its SoC Design Division walked through the company’s journey.
As Tatsuoka explained, Socionext had two key goals for enhancing the design process for its solutions, essentially custom ASICs:
As systems continue to grow larger and more complex, Socionext recognized that it would be difficult to achieve its goals using traditional RTL. That’s why the company turned to an HLS flow. Working with Cadence, Socionext:
“These three key technologies helped us achieve great success,” noted Tatsuoka.
To highlight their success, Tatsuoka shared two case studies. In one case, Socionext applied HLS to a DMAC IP design with complex ARM® AMBA® 3 AXI interfaces. The resulting design had 35% higher performance, 35% less area, a 51% reduction in power, and 2/5 the lines of code, compared to an existing hand-coded RTL IP design. The second example was a 4K/p60 HEVC video encoder, where 90% of the design used HLS. The encoder, which achieved first-silicon success, has only 1/20th the volume and 1/50th the power of a multiprocessor system, with 1000X the performance.
“HLS technology is the key to winning in future IP and SoCs designs that require high quality, high productivity, and rapid time to market,” concluded Tatsuoka.
Hear Tatsuoka’s talk and view his slides here from Session 31 (5:00pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2015).