FTL Systems' Engineering Design Suite:
FTL Systems' engineering software suite grew out of FTL's internal engineering software
requirements. These requirements and tool technology evolved over more than 20 years of
FTL Systems designing high end processors, complete computer systems, telecommunications,
energy systems and autonomous robotic systems. In 2016 and 2017 we are partially
re-writing and re-packaging portions of the Engineering Suite at FTL Systems B.V. in the
Netherlands to meet the needs of mainstream industry customers. Modules are available
to the market in phased releases.
Developed by a Single, User Team Virtually all engineering software systems are
developed as point tools by those who focus on tools rather than advanced product
design using the tools. Usually such point tools are purchased and integrated into
a tool suite by a third party. The resulting tools often have a variety of user
interfaces and limited design communication between point tools. FTL Systems'
engineering software suite was developed by a single, long-term, user team to meet
their needs real, high-end designs.
End-to-end Design Flow Previous versions of the software suite were resold as point
tools, bundled with other third party components from firms such as Analogy, Avanti,
Synopsys, Siemens, Infineon and OneSpin. Over 6,000 of these point tools were resold
over the last 20 years. With the 2016 and 2017 releases we begin offer the modules
as an integrated, end-to-end design flow from conceptual design through manufacturing.
Direct sales as an integrated design suite provides greater end customer value and
ease of use. As a suite intended for mainstream users, some capacity and functionality
Intrinsically Multilingual FTL Systems uses a patented, language neutral database
technology to represent design data. This enables separating the language-specific
design modules and the back-end tools such as synthesis and routers. This both
reduces the development effort and provides an intrinsically multilingual,
collaborative design experience including restricted design language translation capability.
Industry-Standard Interfaces Where feasible, the engineering software suite reads
and writes industry standard textual interfaces. To facilitate migration, the suites
also read a limited set of proprietary, legacy interfaces however these are not intended
to be complete or supported for ongoing usage.
Integration of Real-World Devices FTL's many patented features include ways to
accurately integrate existing digital and even analog devices into a system-level simulation.
For example, FTL Systems' SpiceMiller™ technology creates new analog models from
actual analog devices running on conventional device characterization tools. Embedded
ARM processors and FPGA devices can be integrated, enhancing both verification accuracy
Economically Modular Mainstream industry customers vary widely in their engineering
software needs over time. Therefore in the rewrite, FTL Systems adopted a highly modular
structure and financial model. Modules can be readily and economically licensed for a
time period, perpetually with the option of ongoing software updates or as a secure,
cloud-based service (SaS). Users can get exactly what they need, when they need it.
Linux-Centric FTL Systems focuses on making the best uses of Unix, specifically
Ubuntu Linux. Although we have supported other Unix, Linux, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, OSX and
Windows versions over the last 20 years, we believe that focusing on Ubuntu Linux provides
users with the highest productivity and most cost-effective design environment possible.
Strong and Timely Platform Support FTL Systems recognizes the need for strong and
thus focused platform support. With Ubuntu Linux, X86-64 processors and AMD GPU hardware
there are many potential hardware platforms. However in order to improve quality, FTL's
focus is on hardware platforms built and sold by FTL Systems using X86-64 processors,
AMD GPU hardware and FTL's own processor systems(both clients and servers). Intel and AMD
processors must implement X86-64 (64 bit only), optionally with one of several instruction
set extensions. AMD GPU architectures are supported (Nvidia GPU are not supported).
Designed to Effectively Use Distributed and Cloud Computing for Collaboration
FTL Systems has a long history developing parallel, high performance computer systems.
During the recent re-write of the mainstream tool suite we adopted a distributed and
cloud computing methodology. Many designers work on a system providing a high-end
user experience, often with multiple screens and multimedia capability. Other
designers in the test laboratory and field access the common design environment from
tablet or other mobile devices. Back-room servers provide the required engines for
computationally complex modules.
FTL Systems' Engineering Design Suite includes the following modules, licensed separately and in packages:
- VHDL and VHDL-AMS Design
- Verilog, Verilog-AMS and System-Verilog Design
- SPICE Design
- C, C++ and System C Design
- EDIF and Schematic Design
- Test Case Language (TCL)
- Integrated Optics Design
- Digital Simulation
- Mixed-Signal Simulation
- General Purpose Processor Compiler
- Embedded ARM Co-Design
- Behavioral Synthesis
- Physical Synthesis
- Mechanical Design
- 3D/4D Solid Model Rendering
- Substrata / Printed Circuit Board Place and Route
- Integrated Circuit Place and Route
- Wafer Manufacture and Test
- Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
- Behavioral Models and Physical Packages