HLS Apps Get Boost via RISC-V and Bluespec

By Ken Briodagh

Senior Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

September 13, 2023


HLS Apps Get Boost via RISC-V and Bluespec

Memory management can be the bane of any developer’s plans. Everything from address translation to coherence and projection is complex and performance-critical. Now, Bluespec, a company that provides RISC-V tools and silicon IP, is offering a path to ease the way.

In a recent announcement, Bluespec unveiled its new Accelerate-HLS tool that is designed to simplify and speed hardware development and time-to-market using High-Level Synthesis (HLS). The company says it accomplishes this by leveraging RISC-V processors to offload complex functionality like memory management, which they can handle more efficiently. Accelerate-HLS provides HLS designs with access to high-performance memory management via modern RISC-V processors, according to the release.

It's not all about memory, Bluespec says. Accelerate-HLS can also manage hardware configuration and control, which the company says reduces time and effort in finding, patching, and eliminating bugs before and after product release. This reportedly works by moving those functions from HLS hardware to the runtime software.

“Accelerate-HLS connects two powerful technologies for competing in the post-Moore’s Law era where differentiation is all about architectural innovation,” said Charlie Hauck, CEO, Bluespec. “While Accelerate-HLS clearly enables RISC-V users to leverage HLS, it also demonstrates that fusing RISC-V with an EDA tool can significantly enhance the user experience without explicitly adopting RISC-V. We’ll see much more of this as RISC-V penetrates EDA as it has silicon IP.”

This initial release supports Siemens Catapult software for high-level synthesis and Bluespec RISC-V cores with coherent physical memory. Bluespec says that future releases will support coherent virtual memory, Linux, multi-core, third-party RISC-V cores, and memory-mapped accelerators for Arm processor subsystems.

“Siemens’ Catapult software for high-level synthesis helps system developers migrate functions from software to hardware to produce systems that run faster on much less energy,” said Mo Movahed, General Manager for High-Level Design Implementation and Verification Business Unit, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “We look forward to working with Bluespec to bring the combined benefits of Catapult and Accelerate-HLS to the marketplace.”

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers, he would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars. In previous lives, he’s been a short order cook, telemarketer, medical supply technician, mover of the bodies at a funeral home, pirate, poet, partial alliterist, parent, partner and pretender to various thrones. Most of his exploits are either exaggerated or blatantly false.

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