C-based native data types are on 8-bit boundaries (8, 16, 32, 64 bits). RTL buses (corresponding to hardware) support arbitrary lengths. HLS needs a mechanism to allow the specification of arbitrary precision bit-width and not rely on the artificial boundaries of native C data types: if a 17-bit multiplier is required, you should not be forced to implement this with a 32-bit multiplier.
Vitis™ HLS provides both integer and fixed-point arbitrary precision data types for C++. The advantage of arbitrary precision data types is that they allow the C code to be updated to use variables with smaller bit-widths and then for the C simulation to be re-executed to validate that the functionality remains identical or acceptable.