Software-Defined Hardware Gains Ground — Again


The traditional approach of running generic software on x86-based CPUs is running out of steam for many applications due to the slowdown of Moore’s Law and the concurrent exponential growth in software application complexity and scale. In this environment, the software and hardware are disparate due the dominance of the x86 architecture. “The need for and advent of the hardware accelerat... » read more

Improving Algorithms With High-Level Synthesis


Most computer algorithms today are developed in high-level languages on general-purpose computers. But someday they may be deployed in embedded systems where the development, verification, and validation of algorithms is done in languages like python, Java, C++, or even numerical frameworks like MatLab. This is the goal of high-level synthesis (HLS), and it aims to solve a fundamental proble... » read more

Synthesizing Hardware From Software


The ability to automatically generate optimized hardware from software was one of the primary tenets of system-level design automation that was never fully achieved. The question now is whether that will ever happen, and whether it is just a matter of having the right technology or motivation to make it possible. While high-level synthesis (HLS) did come out of this work and has proven to be... » read more

Facilitating High Level Synthesis from MATLAB generated C C++


MATLAB is the go-to toolbox for high level algorithm design in many application domains, ranging from signal processing to control systems and data analysis. MATLAB Coder generates executable C/C++ code from MATLAB implementations. However, the performance requirements of these applications often mandate a hardware implementation. SLX FPGA helps transform the auto-generated C/C++ code into a sy... » read more

Optimize MATLAB C/C++ Code For HLS


A common use case for high-level synthesis (HLS) is taking 3rd party generated or legacy C/C++ algorithms and converting the algorithm to a hardware implementation using an HLS compiler. This can present many challenges to the developer since there is little insight or understanding of the underlying code. In a recently published white paper, we examine how SLX FPGA is used to take a MATLAB... » read more

Deep Learning Models With MATLAB And Cortex-A


Today, I’ve teamed up with Ram Cherukuri of MathWorks to provide an overview of the MathWorks toolchain for machine learning (ML) and the deployment of embedded ML inference on Arm Cortex-A using the Arm Compute Library. MathWorks enables engineers to get started quickly and makes machine learning possible without having to become an expert. If you’re an algorithm engineer interested ... » read more

Case Study—RF ASIC Validation Of A Satellite Transceiver


ASIC validation in the RF world comes with its own set of hurdles and challenges, with high-quality lab equipment, experience and know-how essential. A recently completed RF sub-system validation at S3 Semiconductors is presented in the form of a case study of the execution. The validation PCB design focussed on impedance matching and shielding RF signals from noise sources. We built up an effi... » read more

Reducing Latency, Power, and Gate Count with Floating-Point FMA


Today’s digital signal processing applications such as radar, echo cancellation, and image processing are demanding more dynamic range and computation accuracy. Floating-point arithmetic units offer better precision, higher dynamic range, and shorter development cycles when compared with fixed-point arithmetic units. Minimizing the design’s time to market is more important than ever. Algori... » read more

Analyzing Data Differently


Data analysis is often a very time consuming process for a hardware design or verification engineer. We always end up using the waveform viewer which may not be very efficient in giving us a high-level overview of what we’re looking for. Data that is spread across a long simulation cycle is very hard to visualize on the waveform. Whenever I have to analyze a huge chunk of data, I always wonde... » read more

ROI Not There Yet For SysML


At some point down the road in the realm of system-level design, the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) dialect of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) standard may drive into semiconductor design. So far, however, a return on investment has not been established for its use. SysML is defined as a general-purpose visual modeling language for systems engineering applications, and it supports the... » read more

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