Prototyping Building Blocks


Lego has existed for 85 years. The company was founded August 10, 1932, and after all these years, the concept of building structures big and small still hasn’t lost any of its charm. For my children, now 10 and 12, it is probably the most played with toy throughout their childhood. As with any new purchase, they initially and carefully build the specific design for the instructions included ... » read more

Verification And Validation Don’t Mean The Same Thing


While often used intermixed, verification and validation are quite different procedures with different goals and different means to achieve those goals. No better way to clear up the confusion by starting with some definitions as stated by Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verification_and_validation: “Verification is intended to check that a product, service, or system (or porti... » read more

Software Driven Test Of FPGA Prototype


Most everyone would agree how important FPGA prototyping is to test and validate an IP, sub-system, or a complete SoC design. Before the design is taped-out it can be validated at speeds near real operating conditions with physical peripherals and devices connected to it instead of simulation models. At the same time, these designs are not purely hardware, but these days incorporate a significa... » read more

Prototyping ARM Cortex-A Processors Using FPGA Platforms


With the increasing cost and complexity involved in new SoC (System-on-Chip) designs, FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) prototyping is becoming an increasingly important, or even crucial, part of new SoC projects. By offering a way to get to hardware sooner, FPGA prototyping allows hardware verification and software work to begin earlier, before first silicon, effectively pipelining the desi... » read more

Learn From The Experts


I visited SNUG Silicon Valley last week. This annual Synopsys User Group event at the Santa Clara Convention Center is always a good way to get in touch with the end users of various EDA products. I attended the technical track with experts from ARM, NVIDIA, Intel and Synopsys, who talked about their experience in accelerating software development, hardware verification and system validation... » read more

It Feels Like Magic


Over the holidays I visited Universal Studios in Los Angeles with my family. The entire park is full of high tech so-called 4D rides as they add motion and other effects, like spraying water when someone sneezes, to a 3D movie. We were, for example, able to experience what it would be like if a bus gets caught in between King Kong and a t-rex fighting with each other. Despite a wide range of... » read more

Cars, Security, And HW-SW Co-Design


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss parallel hardware/software design with Johannes Stahl, director of product marketing, prototyping and FPGA, [getentity id="22035" e_name="Synopsys"]; [getperson id="11411" comment="Bill Neifert"], director of models technology, [getentity id="22186" comment="ARM"]; Hemant Kumar, director of ASIC design, Nvidia; and Scott Constable, senior member of ... » read more

Winning Customer Loyalty


On the day that the Tesla Model 3 was announced, we (and by we I mean my wife, who graciously dedicated her time) stood in line to order a car we had never seen. That is quite the sign of trust in a car company. Buying a car is the second biggest cost behind buying a house and yet there we were putting down $1,000 for a car we had never seen. So what drove us and thousands of others – Tesl... » read more

Balancing Emulation And FPGA-Based Prototyping For Software Development


This year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) has just finished and confirmed some of the trends I discussed in my last blog, “The Top Five Trends in Verification to Watch For at DAC 2016”, specifically when it comes to the set of connected engines, or “COVE” as Jim Hogan dubbed it. The Cadence Theater at DAC is always a good opportunity to listen to hands-on customer experiences, an... » read more

Prototyping Server Farms


Coming from the virtual prototyping world, I envisioned FPGA-based prototyping as mostly a one on one application, meaning that the system resides with the end user or at least in a room close to the end user. However, it turns out that a lot of companies have moved towards a physical prototyping server farm setup. Let’s look at what it means to have a prototyping server farm, the associat... » read more

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