New advances of high-level synthesis for efficient and reliable hardware design

Keith Campbell, Wei Zuo, Deming Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spectacular CMOS technology scaling will continue to evolve and dominate the semiconductor industry. This will lead to tens of billions of transistors integrated on a single chip by the year 2020. However, one significant problem is that the design productivity for complex designs has been lagging behind. In addition to several proposed techniques for dealing with the widening productivity gap, e.g., IP reuse and integration, virtual platform modeling, formal verification and others, high-level synthesis (HLS) has been touted as an important solution as it can significantly reduce the number of man-hours required for a design by raising the level of design abstraction. However, existing HLS solutions have limitations, and studies show that the design quality of HLS can be inferior compared to that of manual RTL design. In this paper, we will present a set of new techniques developed recently to drastically improve HLS solutions, which not only improve the traditional design metrics such as circuit performance and energy efficiency but also emerging metrics such as hardware security and robustness. We will also discuss how HLS can collaborate with other techniques to provide a holistic design methodology that can enable the delivery of high-quality designs with much less design cost and much faster time-to-market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-214
Number of pages26
JournalIntegration, the VLSI Journal
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Area cost
  • Benchmarks
  • Designer productivity
  • High-level synthesis
  • IP integration
  • Interconnect optimization
  • Low power
  • Modeling
  • Multicycle path
  • Parallel languages
  • Performance
  • Polyhedral optimization
  • Quality of results
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Time to market
  • Validation
  • Variation aware
  • Verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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