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Mentor Graphics Announces New Bit-Accurate C++ Datatypes that Accelerate Algorithm Validation by 10x

WILSONVILLE, Ore., June 27, 2006 – Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) today announced the availability of Algorithmic C™ datatypes, new high-speed datatypes based on ANSI C++. These arbitrary-bit-width datatypes enable algorithm, system and hardware designers to precisely model bit-true behavior in C++ specifications while accelerating simulation speeds by 10-200x. Mentor Graphics{reg} is making the new C++ datatypes immediately available to the electronics designers and electronic design automation (EDA) tool vendors free of charge at

Arbitrary Bit Widths and Fast Simulation
Algorithm and system designers need to specify bit widths to create bit-accurate models used for system and algorithm validation. Previous bit-width specifications require one of two compromises: designers must either use native processor precision (64-bits for integer), requiring them to truncate the results and thus introduce artificial corner cases; or they must create a model using an arbitrary bit width resulting in much slower simulation speeds.

Based on universal standard ANSI C++, the new integer and fixed-point Algorithmic C datatypes offer the best of both worlds, allowing algorithm and system designers to specify arbitrary bit widths while improving simulation performance by 10-200x versus other datatypes such as SystemC. Arbitrary bit widths are also critical for high-level synthesis, as they allow hardware designers to make tradeoffs between hardware size and numerical precision. For example, a hardware designer would use arbitrary bit widths to explore tradeoffs in area, performance, or power versus image quality in a video application.

"By offering efficient fixed-point C++ datatypes, Mentor is adding a valuable link in the C-to-RTL design chain. Mentor's open standard enables Catalytic’s hardware synthesis users to conduct faster algorithm validation as they convert their floating-point MATLAB descriptions to fixed-point ANSI C++ models, and ensure bit-width precision throughout the entire implementation flow," said Dave Burow, president and CEO of Catalytic.

Consistent, Intuitive Semantics Ensure Ease of Use
The new Algorithmic C datatypes also solve problems of semantic consistency inherent in previous datatypes. The semantics of Algorithmic C datatypes are intuitive for users familiar with ANSI C++, enabling designers to become proficient in just one day. In contrast, there is a semantic divide in SystemC between the limited precision datatypes (sc_int or sc_fixed_fast), and the arbitrary precision datatypes (sc_bigint or sc_fixed). Proficiency in one datatype does not ensure familiarity with the others, making it error prone to adjust bit-width in a given design. Consequently, one must invest significant effort to master the coding style of both datatypes in order to employ them in an optimal design implementation.

“The Algorithmic C data types improve the ability of designers to move between different levels of abstraction, while minimizing inconsistencies and ambiguities when a design is transformed from algorithm to implementation,” said Venkat Krishnaswamy, vice president of Applications Engineering & Services, Calypto Design Systems. “Calypto’s customers are interested in bridging the gap between System and RTL for verification as well as implementation. This is a welcome technology to reduce that gap, making ESL design and verification more viable.”

Mentor Graphics will offer a suite seminar on the new AC Datatypes at the 43rd Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, July 24-27. To register, please go to .

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of over $700 million and employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. World Wide Web site: .

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark, and Algorithmic C is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, please contact:

Nate James
Mentor Graphics

Sonia Harrison
Mentor Graphics

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