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.


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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