The new Catapult software high-level synthesis (HLS) AI Toolkit and HLS ecosystem, says the company, are designed to help customers jump-start the development of complex machine learning IC architectures. The company also announced that it is adding AI/ML infrastructure throughout its Calibre platform, and is launching the first two of these AI/ML-powered technologies – Calibre Machine Learning OPC (mlOPC) and Calibre LFD with Machine Learning – which leverage machine learning software for faster, more accurate results.
“It’s becoming evident that a vast majority of products being developed for the foreseeable future will incorporate AI/ML in some capacity – what’s smart today will become smarter with AI/ML,” says Joe Sawicki, executive vice president of IC EDA for Mentor, a Siemens business. “Mentor is committed to developing solutions with functionality that will help our customers more easily integrate AI/ML into their products.”
“In addition,” says Sawicki, “Mentor is incorporating adaptive machine learning into our own tools, and as a result customers are seeing vast improvements in runtimes and accuracy, which in turn further enable our customers to deliver their smarter, AI/ML-powered technologies to market faster.”
The Catapult HLS AI Toolkit is designed to help Mentor users developing AI/ML-based accelerators for edge applications get to market faster. Based in easy-to-use HLS C++, the toolkit provides an object detection reference design and IP to help designers quickly find optimal power, performance and area implementations for neural network accelerator engines – a task not possible with hand-coded register-transfer level (RTL) designs.
The solution also includes a complete setup to build an AI/ML demonstrator platform, with live HDMI feed on an FPGA prototyping board. The toolkit, says the company, is a key component of an expanding Catapult HLS ecosystem for AI/ML applications, which also includes open-source HLS IP, TensorFlow integration, easy system integration with interconnect that implements the Arm AMBA 4 AXI interface, and HLS On-Demand training and consulting.
The new AI/ML-powered Calibre tools include Calibre mlOPC for optimized optical proximity correction and Calibre LFD with Machine Learning for advanced lithography simulation. Calibre mlOPC provides 3x faster OPC run time compared to the prior Mentor optical proximity correction technology, while Calibre LFD with Machine Learning is said to offer 10x to 20x performance improvement over full chip-model based simulation while maintaining optimal accuracy.