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Fraunhofer IIS Selects Mentor Graphics Catapult C Synthesis for Advanced Signal Processing Applications

WILSONVILLE, Ore., March 8, 2005 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) today announced that the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, a world-renown audio and video research laboratory located in Erlangen, Germany, has selected the Mentor Graphics Catapult C Synthesis tool for use in next-generation digital broadcast applications. After an evaluation comparing leading high-level synthesis tools, Fraunhofer IIS chose the Catapult C Synthesis tool based on quality of results, time savings, ease of use, and the tool's compatibility with the company's C/C++ design flow.

"During our evaluation, we found Catapult C's quality of results and ease of use to be very convincing. Using the tool, we expect a 5 - 10x improvement in productivity for algorithmic blocks, compared to HDL synthesis," said Frank Mayer, design manager, Fraunhofer IIS. "The Catapult C tool's ability to use pure C code as input fits very well in our design flow, allowing us to automatically generate hardware directly from our untimed C/C++ system models regardless of the target technology. Based on the success of our evaluation, we immediately deployed Catapult C in production design projects."

Fraunhofer IIS develops digital broadcast applications that depend on complex digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms. The organization typically implements the full system in field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) as a prototype for real-time performance validation before retargeting the design to an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for production. Manual register-transfer level (RTL) creation for FPGA prototypes and ASICs were found to be too inefficient and error prone, and left no time for design space exploration. This triggered the decision to explore high-level synthesis to reduce manual development time and validation effort.

For the past five years, Fraunhofer IIS has employed first-generation behavioral synthesis, using traditional HDL input, to shorten device development time. Recently, the organization decided to move beyond behavioral synthesis to explore algorithmic synthesis, which uses pure, untimed system models as input. Algorithmic synthesis requires far less implementation effort, allowing designers to specify interfaces and hierarchy using constraints, and instantly target FPGA or ASIC implementations with the push of a button.

The Catapult C Synthesis tool is the only product to synthesize a C++ source where both the core algorithm and interface are untimed. As a result, designers can perform detailed "what-if" analysis on varying micro-architecture and interface scenarios achieving fully optimized hardware designs. The tool creates RTL that can be synthesized into gates using standard RTL synthesis products, enabling it to fit within a wide variety of tool flows.

"Fraunhofer IIS is an expert in using high-level synthesis to achieve time-to-market and quality goals for their communication and broadcasting systems," said Simon Bloch, general manager of Mentor Graphics' Design Creation and Synthesis Division. "We are honored that such an outstanding organization has selected Catapult C Synthesis as it deploys the benefits of algorithmic synthesis."

About Fraunhofer IIS

Founded in 1985, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany employs 450 staff members, ranking first among the Fraunhofer Institutes concerning headcount and revenues. With the development of the audio coding method MP3, Fraunhofer IIS has reached worldwide recognition. It provides research services on contract basis and technology licensing.

The research topics are: Audio and video source coding, multimedia realtime systems, digital radio broadcasting and digital cinema systems, integrated circuits and sensor systems, design automation, wireless, wired and optical networks, localization and navigation, imaging systems and nanofocus X-ray technology, high-speed cameras, medical sensor solutions and communications technology in transport and logistics.

In the field of digital radio, Fraunhofer IIS is the leader among the international research labs. It has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding schemes, like MP3, MPEG-2 AAC and MPEG-4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and made significant contributions to the definition, design and implementation of Digital Audio Broadcast DAB, WorldSpace Digital Radio, XM Satellite Radio and Digital Radio Mondiale DRM. World Wide Web site:

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 3,850 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site:

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark and Catapult 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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