Synopsys Integrates Hardware Prototyping Tools
Over the past year and a half, Synopsys has been acquiring companies and parts of companies in the ASIC prototyping space. Early last year it was Synplicity, while this year it was the ChipIT portion of German-based ProDesign. What is the common thread in these acquisitions? All use FPGA-based hardware and software to prototype complex ASIC designs.
Earlier this week, Synopsys announced its expanded Confirma rapid prototyping platform. Confirma was one of the tool suites acquired from Synplicity. Below is a chart – refreshingly clean and readable – that summaries the acquired tool suits and how they (hopefully) integrate into a whole system:
|HAPS||Hardy – Synplicity||High-performance ASIC Prototyping System|
|Certify||Synplicity||Multi-FPGA Implementation and Partitioning|
|Identify Pro||Synplicity||Debugging and Visibility Enhancement|
|Synplify Premier||Synplicity||Single-FPGA Implementation and Rapid Prototyping|
|CHIPit||ProDesign||Automated Rapid Prototyping|
Integration is the key. I’m particularly interested those areas of functional overlap, such as between original Confirma suite of tools and more recently acquired ChipIT tool. Both tools provide ASIC prototyping capabilities. I discussed some of the issues in a past blog:Hardware Prototyping Market Changes Form
Synopsys’ acquisition of ChipIT would seem to strengthen its position in the system-level development market. Yet many questions remain. First and foremost is how Synopsys will integrate it most recent acquisitions of Synplicity and ProDesign’s ChipIT. For example, which of the two hardware platforms – Synplicity’s Hardi or ProDesign’s ChipIT – will it support, merge or remove? A similar question might be asked on the software side – Synplicity’s Confirma or ProDesign’s ChipIT?
One other question: How will this hardware prototyping platform eventually work with Synpopsys software (virtual) prototyping tool – from the Virtio acquisition?