Binachip Develops Technology to Automate Embedded Application Development

3/20/2006 - BINACHIP, a new embedded applications automation company, has begun operations and will ship its first product late Q2, 2006. BINACHIP's technology automates the process of creating high-performance embedded applications, slashing design times from months to days.

Dr. Susheel Chandra has been named president and CEO of the new company with offices in San Jose and Glenview, Ill.

"The explosive growth of platform-based design starts are putting tremendous pressure on the embedded application designer," Dr. Chandra said, "These chips are equal parts hardware and software, so there are myriad tradeoffs associated with what to put in hardware and what to put in software. We are in business to automate and optimize these decisions so designers can meet their price/performance and time-to-market goals."

How It Works
Computationally intensive real-time applications such as voice-over-IP, video-over-IP, 3G and 4G wireless communications, MP3 players, JPEG and MPEG encoding/decoding, require an integrated hardware/software platform for optimal performance. Parts of the application run in software on a general purpose processor and other portions need to run on application-specific hardware to meet performance requirements. BINACHIP enables embedded systems developers to make hardware/software tradeoffs for optimal performance. It also allows seamless migration of software from older general-purpose embedded processors onto hardware and mixed hardware/software platforms of the future.

BINACHIP automates the translation of software assembly and binaries onto mixed hardware/software platforms, thereby reducing design times from months to days. Embedded applications are typically developed in a high level such as C/C++ or MATLAB and then compiled into a general purpose processor binary, or they may be available only in binary form from previous legacy designs. BINACHIP takes this binary, performs automated hardware/software co-design at the assembly language level, and generates software code for the target processor, and RTL VHDL and Verilog code that can be implemented on an FPGA.

"BINACHIP is the only company that starts with binaries rather than a high-level language and can do fine-grain mapping," according to industry analyst Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. "I look for them to do a lot to enable high-performance embedded applications in the DSP space."

First Product Targets FPGA Implementation
The company's first product, BINACHIP-FPGA, will ship late Q2, 2006. Using standard profiling tools, the user determines if a portion of the binary code will benefit from a hardware implementation. If so, it is automatically compiled into hardware using BINACHIP-FPGA, and the appropriate hardware/software interfaces are generated, while the remaining code is translated into binary for the target processor. Depending on the application, the resulting implementation can provide a 10X to 50X speedup over a pure software implementation.

"There is definitely a market for BINACHIP's technology in the high-performance embedded applications space," said high-tech consultant Clive 'Max' Maxfield, president of TechBites. "I think they're in the right place at the right time."

Dr. Susheel Chandra Named CEO
Dr. Chandra joined BINACHIP in January 2006 as president and CEO, after three years with Sequence Design as senior vice president of R&D and product marketing. Before that he was general manager of Mentor Graphics' Intellectual Property Division, and founded Mentor's India operations in 1997. Prior to joining Mentor he held technical and management positions with Checklogic and Sony Corporation. Dr. Chandra holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has authored 25 conference and journal papers, and holds three patents.

"I am delighted to have a person of Susheel's caliber and deep domain experience in the industry join BINACHIP at this point to take the company to the next level," said Dr. Prith Banerjee, founder of BINACHIP and Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

BINACHIP develops and markets software products and services that enable embedded systems developers to design and implement high-performance applications within their price/performance and time-to-market constraints. It also enables seamless migration of software from older-generation, general-purpose, embedded processors into newer hardware, and mixed hardware/software platforms of the future. BINACHIP's core technology evolved from work done at Northwestern University. BINACHIP is privately held with offices in San Jose, Calif., and Glenview, Ill.

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