Startup claims breakthrough in reconfigurable logic

TechOnline India - May 28, 2009

A British company focused on dynamically reconfigurable logic, Akya (Selby, England), has launched its first licensable technology, dubbed the ART2.

LONDON — A British company focused on dynamically reconfigurable logic, Akya (Selby, England), has launched its first licensable technology, dubbed the ART2.

Akya says it has taken a fundamentally different approach to previous reconfigurable logic technologies, and has managed to reduce the risk, silicon area and costs involved in the production of flexible ICs.

The privately held start-up has been developing the 'ART' technology since 2005, and says the technology simplifies the design and implementation of reconfigurable chips by separating dataflow circuitry from control logic.

The company says its "ground-breaking" reconfigurable logic technology redefines low-cost, low-power logic design by bringing the benefits of reconfigurability to price-and power-sensitive markets.

The product is delivered as a library of IP building blocks allowing anything from an entire ASIC to a part of an SoC or ASSP to be designed, allowing OEMs to quickly adapt their designs to changing market needs.

"From the ground up we designed ART2 to be as simple to implement as possible", said Colin Dente, Akya's CEO. "The potential of reconfigurable logic is vast, but it also has to be realistic for engineers to implement it easily.

Dente stresses that in the past, companies have gone for a 'fine-grained' approach to reconfigurable logic that can result in lengthy design times. "Instead we have built up a comprehensive library of simple 'blocks' of reconfigurable IP that engineers can simply build around their central designs. We provide full and comprehensive training, allowing companies to develop totally flexible solutions, allowing them to respond quickly to changing conditions."

Before joining Akya as VP of Engineering, Dente worked as technical director for design house NEuW Limited.

Dente says Akya's library is significantly larger than that offered by other flexible logic companies, allowing a greater degree of flexibility in how companies design reconfigurable functions, and enables a more efficient use of silicon area.

The ART2 development kit features two high-level languages, one for data flow and one for control, making the design of ART2 circuitry as simple as possible. The company provides training in the ART2 architecture compiler (artac).

The initial devices are targeted at low-power applications such as mobile handsets and portable media players. The technology is also said to be efficient at DSP functions.

The ART2 is available now and demonstration devices will be available in September 2009.

On its website , the company notes that it is "interested to talk to other investors who can see the potential of our ground-breaking new technology."

It also says it is looking to expand its engineering facilities in the UK, and it also has facilities in Ireland.

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