The xPilot Team:
- Professor Jason Cong
- Researchers: Deming Chen, Yiping Fan, Guoling Han, Wei Jiang, Bin Liu, Junjuan Xu, Zhiru Zhang
xPilot is a behavior synthesis system from C or SystemC to RTL code with necessary design constraints. The advantages of xPilot includes: platform-based behavior and system synthesis, communication/interconnect-centric approach, advanced algorithms for platform-based, communication-centric optimization, and promising results demonstrated on available FPGAs. The two main synthesis modules of xPilot are:
- Processor-based synthesis: target at configurable processors, multi-cores, and multi-processors.
- Hardware-based synthesis: target at highly customized devices, such as FPGA and ASIC.
Application-Specific Instruction-set Processors (ASIPs) and Application-Specific Network Processor (ASPN) have gained popularity in production chips as well as in the research community. They offer a viable solution to tradeoff between efficiency and flexibility. For example, modern field programmable devices can hold tens of soft processors in a single FPGA, which allows the designers to build a multiprocessor system by exploiting the parallelism in applications. xPilot focuses on the synthesis/mapping process with the goal of optimizing performance, resource usage, interconnection, and throughput. The above graph shows the synthesis flow targeting at ASPN. Hardware-based synthesis
- Automatically synthesize the high-level behavioral descriptions (C/SystemC) to silicon platforms (e.g., FPGAs, Structure ASICs, ASICs, etc.)
- Explore application-specific design space basing on configurable processor platforms.
- Optimize logic, interconnects, performance, and power simultaneously, which becomes extremely difficult to human designers on complex designs.
- Raise the design abstraction above RTL
- Improve both design productivity and quality of results
- The xPilot system is being licensed by AutoESL Design Technologies, Inc. as the basis for further development as an advanced commercial-strength ESL synthesis tool.