SemiEngineering: The Evolution Of High-Level Synthesis

By nileshthiagarajan

Excerpt from article: “The Evolution Of High-Level Synthesis

The first panelist was Brian Bowyer, director of engineering for Siemens EDA. Bowyer provided a glimpse into the problems of the past and some new developments. “There’s a lot of work that’s gone in over the last 40 years to make this happen, starting with behavioral VHDL and Verilog, and then later moving into C++ and SystemC,” he said. “Even 20 years ago you could get great results with high-level synthesis, and companies would adopt it and things were great until something didn’t work. Something on the interface wouldn’t work well, or scheduling would move something one cycle later, and suddenly it’s broken and nobody knew why. It was very hard to understand.”

Much has changed recently. “One thing that has really changed in the last four or five years has been the number of open-source, class-based libraries appearing,” Bowyer said. “You go from having to write all of the low-level details to picking up a pre-built class library that has a protocol defined in it, the assumptions and the intent all in one package. That makes it much simpler to use than it has been in any point of the history.”

Read the entire article on SemiEngineering originally published on August 27th, 2020.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at