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8 Users Compare RTL Compiler (RC) vs. Design Compiler (DC) on DeepChip.com

Comments(0)Filed under: Logic synthesis, Low power , Logic Design, CPF, power management, Common Power Format, Synthesis, RTL, encounter, RTL compiler, cadence, synopsys, rc, methodology, DAC, Digital, Digital End-to-End, design comipler, DC, DeepChip, Cooley

It was refreshing to see what happened when John Cooley made his latest request for reader feedback on his popular DeepChip website catering to the semiconductor design community. A request had come in from a previous DeepChip post prior to the Design Automation Conference (DAC) as follows:

      Are there any unbiased comparisons between the area and power performance of Synopsys Design Compiler and Cadence Encounter RTL Compiler synthesis?


Knowing that in general engineers don't like to take sides, and avoid confrontation at all costs, Cooley allowed real designers to anonymously post their user experiences comparing synthesis tools from Cadence and Synopsys. DeepChip verified they were real engineers from actual companies, but didn't publish their names if they so chose. Generally synthesis customers, and customers of any tools, are hesitant to share their results if it might damage a current or future vendor relationship, allowing them to simply share their results without concern for retribution has provided a flood of candid and thorough responses.

My hunch is that many current or prospective synthesis users will find this DeepChip article useful when selecting a solution. I created a clearly non un-biased summary below for those of you taping out this week and unable to read the whole post:

  • 7 of the 8 responses preferred RTL Compiler (RC)
  • The other was neutral but chose Cadence's solution
  • Users found that RC offered superior area and timing on their designs
  • Designers said RC's low power flow was more intuitive and structured
  • Engineers found Cadence support was more helpful and acted as a true partner not just a vendor
As a biased reader my favorite quote was:

"Switching from DC to RC was like going from night into day for us."

While not surprising to folks here at Cadence who have been seeing the benefits RC can deliver for years now, these results may be very interesting to users who have been trudging along working with the status quo synthesis solution. At the very least if this many DeepChip readers are reporting better results, cleaner flows, and more responsive support don't you owe it to your design team to take a deeper look yourself?   Food for thought....

David Stratman


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