Hardware acceleration can slow your computer when shut off. This is because the CPU needs to process all of the data. By turning it on, you can offload some of the processing power to equipment that is specifically designed for it, such as audio cards and graphics cards. This allows your processor to be used for other functions.
These devices are better suited to a particular task than the processor of your computer. Hardware accelerators can be utilized for a myriad of tasks, including 3D rendering, video decoding and even regular expression hardware acceleration in the server industry to ward off spam attacks that use patterns like ‘
As a design tool hardware acceleration is utilized to speed up the execution of algorithms that would otherwise take a long time for a general-purpose processor to execute. They can be integrated into a chip or components that can communicate directly with the processor, mapping instructions for processors to hardware-accelerated functions. They can be granular in nature and range from a small unit, like a memory block that handles bit blits, to a complete accelerator that runs fixed algorithms, such as a motion estimation.
Cadence offers a broad set of tools that support every stage of the hardware acceleration design process from Stratus high-level Synthesis and Genus logic synthesis to Innovus implementation system, Conformal low-power analyses and Joules RTL power analysis. These tools allow designers to create highly efficient, cost-effective hardware accelerators that are optimized for their intended applications and market.