High Level Synthesis Techniques for VLSI


Keywords: design automation, CAD, DSP, integrated circuit design, VLSI, high level synthesis, hardware/software codesign

Start Date: 1 January 93 / Status: finished / Duration: 48 months

[ participants / contact]

Objectivies and Approach

The objective is to exchange research results by means of exchange of researchers and by common workshops in order to improve efficiency and to add value to existing synthesis environments.

The European team investigates VLSI architectural modelling for implementing DSP dominated systems-on-silicon in the field of consumer electronics and telecommunication. Techniques for memory optimisation and for hardware/software partitioning at system-level are studied in order to reduce the design time for implementing systems on VLSI architectures by an order of magnitude. The new research is implemented in new design tools, called ATOMIUM and COWARE.

The US team contributes concepts on research on synthesis techniques, based on given VLSI architectures, oriented to speech and image processing applications. CAD tools are developed in order to improve efficiency of solutions, in particular in the field of optimisation of power consumption by means of intelligent system level decision making. The new research is implemented a new design tool called AGENT.

European links: ESPRIT projects NANA 2 (6632) and OMI-Standards.

Progress and Results

A number of on-site workshops on system-level decision tools for VLSI design have been organised. IMEC has participated in a study of hardware/software codesign which was done by MCC (Austin, Texas) and OMI Management Office (Brussels, Belgium). The ATOMIUM tools have been used as a benchmark for TI, Dallas. The COWARE tools have been used for a satellite pager design with the European Space Agency and SAIT Systems, a Belgian telecommunication company.

Information Dissemination Activities and/or Exploitation

Two patents have been taken in the methodology embedded in the ATOMIUM and COWARE tools. A spin-off company, called CoWare, has been set up in order to commercialise the COWARE tools. This company has oficially started in Leuven, Belgium, in September 1996 and will soon open a US site.


Kapeldreef, 75
B - 3001 LEUVEN, B

EU Partners

Siemens AG, D
RWTH Aachen, D
Technical University of Madrid, E
INPG, Grenoble, F
Philips Research, NL
Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Non-EU Partners

University of California at Berkeley, USA


Dr. Ivo Bolsens
Tel: +32 16 28 12 00
Fax: +32 16 28 15 15
E-mail: bolsen@imec.be

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HLSTV - EC-US018, May 1997

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook