Avoiding game over: Bringing design to the next level

Ofer Shacham, Sameh Galal, Sabarish Sankaranarayanan, Megan Wachs, John Brunhaver, Artem Vassiliev, Mark Horowitz, Andrew Danowitz, Wajahat Qadeer, Stephen Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations


Technology scaling has created a catch-22: technology now can do almost anything we want, but the NRE design costs are so high, that almost no one can afford to use it. Our current situation is reminiscent of the 1980's, when only a few companies could afford to produce custom silicon. Synthesis and placement and routing tools changed this, by providing modular tools with well defined interfaces that codified designer knowledge about the physical design of chips. Now we need a new set of tools that can codify designer knowledge about how to construct software, hardware, and validation to again enable application designers to produce chips. Researchers are developing methodologies that allow users to create hardware constructors, or generators. These include Genesis2, which extends SystemVerilog and enables the designer to encode hierarchical system construction procedurally. To demonstrate some of the capabilities that these languages and tools provide, we describe FPGen, a complete floating point generator written in Genesis2, that also generates the needed validation collateral and hints for the backend processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2012Jun 7 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Other49th Annual Design Automation Conference, DAC '12
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Genesis2
  • HDL
  • SystemVerilog
  • floating point
  • generator
  • optimization
  • power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


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