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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 http://www.mentor.com/products/c-based_design/download/ac_datatypes.cfm.

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 www.mentor.com .

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: http://www.mentor.com/ .

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
503.685.0449
nathan_james@mentor.com

Sonia Harrison
Mentor Graphics
503.685.1165
sonia_harrison@mentor.com

 
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