EDA Playground–An Awesome Online Tool

eda-playground-01Many times we use the web to find code examples and tutorials. However, often the examples were incomplete. Sometimes they were missing the necessary code to hook the example into a real design. Other times, the code examples had syntax errors.

Sometime we are presented with a working design, with lines stripped out, but with undefined variables and dangling commas left in. Other times the code examples simply did not work on my simulator. All this resulted in endless frustration to us. I knew there had to be a better way, EDA Playground is one.

EDA Playground is a free web application that allows users to edit, simulate (and view waveforms), synthesize, and share their HDL code. Its goal is to accelerate the learning of design and testbench development with easier code sharing and with simpler access to simulators and libraries. EDA Playground is specifically designed for small prototypes and examples (it is not intended to be used for a full-blown FPGA or ASIC design).

EDA Playground gives engineers immediate hands-on exposure to simulating SystemVerilog, Verilog, VHDL, C++/SystemC, and other HDLs. All you need is a web browser. The goal is to accelerate learning of design/testbench development with easier code sharing, and with simpler access to EDA tools and libraries. EDA Playground is specifically designed for small prototypes and examples.

  • With a simple click, run your code and see console output in real time. Pick another simulator version and run it again.
  • View waves for your simulation using EPWave browser-based wave viewer.
  • Save your code snippets. Share your code and simulation results with a web link. Perfect for web forum discussions or emails. Great for asking questions or sharing your knowledge.
  • Quickly try something out
    • Try out a SystemVerilog feature before using it on your project.
    • Try out a library that you’re thinking of using.
    • Modify another engineer’s shared code and re-run it.
  • Eliminate environment differences. Since the code always executes in the same environment, everyone will see the same result on a subsequent re-run.
  • Browse and use a large repository of working code examples and templates.


Google To Develop Quantum Processors

quantumx299Google was one of the early backers of a new approach to quantum computing adopted by a company called D-Wave. The company offers boxes that perform a process called quantum annealing instead of the more typical approach, which involves encoding information in a quantum state of a collection of entangled qubits. Although whatever D-Wave is doing is clearly quantum, it's still not clear that it offers a speedup compared to classical computers.

So rather than keeping all its eggs in D-Wave's basket, Google's "Quantum A.I. Lab" announced that it is starting a collaboration with an academic quantum computing researcher, John Martinis of the University of California-Santa Barbara. Martinis' group focuses on creating fault-tolerant qubits using a solid-state superconducting structure called a Josephson junction. By linking several of these junctions and spreading a single quantum state across them, it's possible to reach fidelities of over 99 percent when it comes to storing the quantum state.

Quantum states tend to be fragile and decay when they interact with their environment, so a lot of labs are working on making qubits that are more robust or have error correcting ability. Josephson junctions are one possible approach to this, but they have the advantage of being on familiar turf for computing companies, since they can be made by standard fabrication techniques (although they still need to be chilled to near absolute zero).

Google made it clear that it's not turning its back on D-Wave; the new work will be done in parallel. As for quantum computing itself, this is interesting news. A quick look at our past coverage makes it clear that there are a number of technologies that appear to be getting close to the point where they could be used to create a multi-qubit machine. Google's decision to push hard on one of these approaches could narrow the field—either by getting Josephson junctions to work or by showing that there are severe limitations to them.

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