3,000 Reasons To Look Into Virtual Prototyping

Survey results: Software complexity ranks as the top software development challenge, followed closely by late availability of hardware.


As announced on Nov. 5, Synopsys virtual prototyping book achieved a remarkable milestone of more than 3,000 copies in distribution to more than 1,000 companies. The success of the book highlights the interest in virtual prototyping as a key methodology to shift left software development.

Upon the book’s publication, we received a lot of interest from China and Japan for translated versions of the book. Receiving such high interest for the book in both languages motivated us to start translations, with the Mandarin version already available on the Web site. Soon to follow will be the Japanese translation, scheduled to become available around the end of the year.

In return for downloading a free copy of the eBook, we asked people to fill out an online survey. The answers to this survey confirm the most common software development challenges and virtual prototype benefits that are discussed in the book.

When asked, “What are your biggest software development challenges,” the No. 1 answer by 36% of the respondents was software complexity. That was closely followed by late availability of hardware (31%), changing requirements (27%), and limited debug visibility (24%). (Note that respondents could mark multiple answers for this question.)

It is clear from these answers that software developers are under constant pressure to meet tight deadlines while dealing with increasing software complexity and changing requirements. So it is not a surprise that they are looking for new methods to pull in the software development effort, manage increasing software complexity and late hardware availability. Many software developers have found that virtual prototyping helps to solve these challenges, as evident from more of our survey responses.

When asked, “What is the most important benefit you have seen from using virtual prototypes,” respondents who used virtual prototyping in the past answered as follows: Earlier software availability (45%); better software quality (19%); tighter coordination between hardware and software teams (18%); and software bring-up and debug productivity gain (16%). (Note that because we wanted to understand the most important benefit, we only allowed one answer per respondent.)

I will use the findings of the “Better Software. Faster!” book survey in subsequent blog posts. For now I want to leave you with following observation: If 3,000 persons at more than 1,000 companies around the world are interested in learning more about virtual prototyping, you might want to take a look yourself.

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To download a free ebook go to: www.synopsys.com/vpbook or If you would like a printed copy, you can purchase Better Software. Faster! at Synopsys Press, Amazon.com, or you can order a copy through any bookstore (ISBN: 978-1-61730-013-4).