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