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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ARM teams with Synplicity to get M1 core out to FPGA

ARM has teamed up with Synplicity to get its Cortex M1 core out to designers of FPGAs. The M1 core (see below) is designed specifically for FPGAs, and this will dramatically help ARM tackle the designers in large OEM companies who might otherwise design ASICs or choose a standard part.
Synplicity has been targeting the same designers to persuade them to move over from ASIC design to FPGA, but using the same ASIC design approach that they are comfortable with.
Under the marketing and collaboration agreement Synplicity’s R&D team will use the Cortex-M1 processor as part of standard product validation procedures and the corporate engineering also has access to the Cortex-M1 processor IP to provide mutual customer support.
This is a significant move to get M1 onto the leading Xilinx and Altera FPGAs and build up ARM's OEM licensing business.
ARM worked closely with Synplicity during the development of the Cortex-M1 processor and used Synplicity’s industry-leading Synplify Pro synthesis software extensively during the development process. It also worked with Actel to put the core in Actel FPGAs and in Actel's design flow as the first route to market.
“Synplicity’s involvement was a significant benefit during the development of the Cortex-M1 processor,” said Graham Budd, Executive VP and General Manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The ARM design team was keen to ensure the Cortex-M1 processor was optimized for multiple FPGA targets. Synplicity’s vendor independent flow enabled us to achieve this with minimum overhead, ensuring that the processor can be implemented on the widest possible range of FPGA devices.”

“ARM’s entry into the FPGA market is a watershed event by bringing an industry standard processor to FPGA design,” said Joe Gianelli, VP business development, Synplicity. “The intent of our long-term partnership with ARM is to increase the awareness and provide optimal implementation of ARM processors for FPGA design”

The ARM-Synplicity reference methodology for the Cortex-M1 processor includes capabilities for physical and logic synthesis design flows. The Synplify Pro software is the industry's most widely used FPGA synthesis solution, using an ASIC-like timing-driven approach to synthesis.

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