A FPGA is a highly reconfigurable IC, allowing designers to change how the hardware functions to perform specific tasks. FPGAs have the potential to deliver higher performance for these tasks than would be possible using more traditional hardware, such as CPUs or GPUs.
FPGAs are at the forefront of current technology trends: whether they are used in accelerating deep-learning or processing sensor data for autonomous driving, companies are learning of the exceptional performance, efficiency and flexibility that they offer.
The tools that EDA companies produce make it possible to design and build all the electronics we find in the world today. As well as being used in semiconductor design and verification, they are also used to reconfigure FPGAs. The designers of such electronic systems are reliant on their tools being smart and safe, to help guide them as they develop the next generation of silicon chips.
Today’s EDA companies work closely with their customers providing them with solutions and advice specific to their sector. EDA customers represent a wide variety of industries, covering many different fields: from medical to aerospace and from industrial to consumer electronics.
Technology companies have recognised the potential of FPGAs and as FPGAs continue to grow, so does the demand for intuitive tools. We believe a limiting factor of FPGAs is the knowledge barrier required to achieve their full capabilities. At Beetlebox we want to lower this barrier to allow more companies to explore their use.
Currently, developing with FPGAs requires specialist skills and even with those specialist skills development can take many months. We want to make FPGAs more accessible to engineers, allowing companies to utilise their existing expertise in software during the development process.
We believe a major hurdle that stops FPGAs being more widely adopted is complexity of the FPGA configuration languages currently available. Many companies have tried to respond to this issue by taking languages used on CPUs and apply them to FPGAs. Yet despite years of development these languages have seen no wide spread adoption.
We are developing a new toolkit and language: one that is built for FPGAs and can fully exploit their power, whilst stripping away many of the unnecessary complexities of languages currently used in the development process.