On 05:15 PM 13/04/2004, Juha Kuusama said:


Harry Lemmens wrote:

...
As someone has stated, Xilinx do indeed give away a VERY GOOD design suite that
gets you easily to several hundred k gates, and covers the entire design very
nicely.
As does Altera. I don't know the others, but it is probably safe to assume that the smaller players in the FPGA market provide tools for their devices as well. Both Xilinx and Altera provide processor soft cores also, so the whole point of Nexar kind of escapes me(*). I would much prefer seeing Protel get the core stuff done brilliantly, such as gate/pin swapping, autorouting and my pet peeve, component placement(**). For FPGA stuff, it would be very sufficient to have seamless integration to the vendor tools.

I share the doubts that Altium can't be able to keep up with the industry with one integrated tool. Nexar looks cool, but it has very limited set of design blocks, only a few 8 bit processors and no Verilog support. As Harry pointed out, the FPGA field moves fast. A few years back it was schematics, yesterday it was VHDL/Verilog, to day it is design re-use. As an example, we are doing a system that has a 32-bit processor, multimaster bus, DDR memory interface, video converter and serial, parallel, network and USB interfaces integrated on an FPGA. Guess how many of these functions was designed in-house. Right, none. It will be very hard for a relatively small company to keep up. On the other hand, Altium has a key position to tie the toolchain together. I just don't think the key is doing it all in-house.

The Nexar system requires the vendor tools for fitting etc. Altium provide the front end to these tools using either Sch or VHDL (no verilog). Stuff created outside the nexar system can be used (EDIF files etc) but I am no expert on this.


Ian



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