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The Silicon Review Asia

Plunify – Helping businesses and organizations build better FPGA products with innovative design processes

The Silicon Review
July, 2020

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The Field Programmable Gate Array (FGPA) is a type of device widely used in electronic circuits. FPGAs are semiconductor devices that contain programmable logic blocks and interconnection circuits. It can be programmed or reprogrammed to the required functionality after manufacturing. An FPGA lets you do high-performance bit-level processing much more efficiently than software and is an excellent way to sample and generate I/O with accurate timing, so they're used for low-level data communications and test equipment.

Plunify is one such firm that makes life easier for users of FPGAs by removing barriers in the design process and saving valuable time and resources. The ever-increasing complexities of FPGA devices and design flows bring new challenges every year. Harnessing increasingly-affordable compute resources, Plunify creates innovative solutions to optimize designs and accelerate product time-to-market. Running on top of powerful FPGA tools, InTime delivers results quickly and enables higher productivity. The first commercial application of machine learning allows chip design companies to accelerate product Time-To-Market and reduce development costs significantly. Currently, Plunify has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Japan and counts Fortune Global 500 companies.

Revolutionary products designed by Plunify

InTime Series: InTime has built-in intelligence to predict optimized strategies for synthesis, placement, and routing. It uses machine learning to actively learn from past results, improving the predictions over time. InTime can extract more than 50% increase in design performance from the FPGA tools. High resource utilization often leads to place-&-route timing issues. Or a 3rd-party IP that cannot be edited causes issues in the middle of a tight deadline. Sometimes it is just plain old "whack-a-mole" timing paths. It is simply impractical to rip up and re-optimize your RTL all the time. From re-running previously generated settings to using incremental compilation, newer design revisions can benefit from older builds without going through the entire learning process again. The analytics help you understand results and problems across multiple builds, instead of narrowly looking at a single build. From measuring logic vs. routing delays across "Common Critical Paths" (CCP) to "Errors and Warnings" analytics, the tool provides additional clarity on the design characteristics.

It works locally or on multiple computers in a network, automatically distributing builds and aggregating results across machines. It is integrated with resource management software like LSF or SGE. With Plunify Cloud, you can even offload builds to AWS without being a cloud expert. Read more about running InTime in the cloud. InTime supports primary FPGA tools such as Quartus Prime, Vivado, and even ISE. Vendor- and architecture-specific optimizations are created for Xilinx and Intel.  These optimizations tackle different devices, design characteristics, floor planning, and routing problems.

Plunify Cloud Platform: Plunify Cloud is built for FPGA designers to utilize the power of cloud computing efficiently. It handles the complex technical and security aspects of managing a cloud infrastructure while simplifying access to it. With a suite of free Plunify cloud-enabled applications, any designer can quickly develop their FPGA projects on the cloud without having to be an IT expert. The Cloud sits inside the Amazon Web Services and handles the know-how for servers, storage, networking, and security. With a wide range of server types available, starting an FPGA project in the cloud is just a few clicks away. One can take advantage of on-demand compute power and tools to enable faster turnaround time to improve the cost-effectiveness of projects and explore new ways to solve timing problems. Usage time on Plunify Cloud is measured in minutes. The amount of credits required depends on the server types, tools, and usage duration. Customers can take comfort in the fact that they will only pay for what they use instead of being rounded off to the next hour

The FPGA Expansion Pack for Xilinx Vivado makes it easy for you to use the cloud. The plugin adds cloud access functionality right into your Vivado toolbar. With a Plunify Cloud account, this plugin enables you to conveniently offload a build in the cloud without any IT setup. You can optimize designs on tens, even hundreds of Amazon Web Services machines at the same time.

Meet the formidable leader

Harn Hua NG is the Founder and also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Plunify. He has more than a decade of experience in FPGA and embedded systems design at Xilinx, Inc. in San Jose, California, and later on, in mobile computing platform development at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in Tokyo, Japan. He holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He is proficient in English, Mandarin, and Japanese.

“Our solutions enable shorter time-to-market, better design processes, and predictable outcomes as we deliver better FPGA-based applications without worrying about infrastructure and tools.”

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