Mentor's Precision Synthesis Melds with Altera Stratix IV GT

The thing about the competitive world of high-end FPGAs is that they get bigger (gate density-wise), faster, and more complex. Xilinx now has Virtex-6; Altera’s got Stratix IV GT. If you stick with these vendors’ own tools, you’re golden. But you might be missing some advanced features, too. That’s why Mentor Graphics revised the company’s Precision Synthesis tool to dovetail with the latest from Altera’s 40 nm family of Stratix and Arria devices: Stratix IV GT and Arria II GX. These devices boast a bit more density, lower power than their equivalent predecessors, and vastly improved LVDS SERDES I/O, suitable for 40 and 100 GbE systems. It’s in the area of transceiver technology that Mentor’s tool really shines.

The vendor-independent tool set allows a common environment for developing with multiple types and vendors. Precision Synthesis is called “the centerpiece” of Mentor’s FPGA flow, offering push-button synthesis, HDL language support (including SystemVerilog), and automatic incremental synthesis to save time and facilitate modular design practices. Designers can cross-probe between multiple views or conduct “what if?” static timing runs. Mentor claims that the tool reduces design iterations while allowing designs to be completed faster. If you’re already a Mentor user, your suite can be upgraded to work with Altera’s latest FPGAs.

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