Since their invention, FPGAs have been burdened by a problem that has held them back from more widespread adoption: they’re too hard to program. Xilinx knows this, which is why they spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the Vivado Design Suite and more importantly Vivado HLS (high-level synthesis) which enables high-performance hardware designs to be programmed in C/C++. Well a new company called QuickPlay has created their own solution to this problem. They claim to have created a development platform (including hardware and software) that enables developers to create FPGA based designs with almost no FPGA knowledge or experience. They’ve created a development environment with a high-level of abstraction, allowing FPGA designs to be developed in C/C++, while also supporting Xilinx and Altera FPGAs, and multiple board and IP vendors.

quickplay_flow

If you solve the problem of programming FPGAs and allow them to be exploited by the masses of C/C++ coders in the world, I guarantee that FPGAs will swamp the data centers and replace a sizable portion of the x86 processor based servers in the world. If FPGAs were easier to program, most web-based services would be running on a server with an embedded FPGA accelerator, if not running entirely on an FPGA based server. In that kind of a world, we’d have faster web-services and more power efficient data centers.

Jeff is passionate about FPGAs, SoCs and high-performance computing, and has been writing the FPGA Developer blog since 2008. As the owner of Opsero, he leads a small team of FPGA all-stars providing start-ups and tech companies with FPGA design capability that they can call on when needed.

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