Searching For A System Abstraction


Without abstraction, advances in semiconductor design would have stalled decades ago and circuits would remain about the same size as analog blocks. No new abstractions have emerged since the 1990s that have found widespread adoption. The slack was taken up by IP and reuse, but IP blocks are becoming larger and more complex. Verification by isolation is no longer a viable strategy at the system... » read more

Could Liquid IP Lead To Better Chips?


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss the benefits that could come from making IP available as abstract blocks instead of RTL implementations with Mark Johnstone, technical director for Electronic Design Automation for [getentity id="22499" e_name="NXP"] Semiconductor; [getperson id="11489" p_name="Drew Wingard"], CTO at [getentity id="22605" e_name="Sonics"]; Bryan Bowyer, director of ... » read more

Are You Virtually Fast Enough?


During high school my class was divided into two camps: Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher fans. Regardless of either camp, the real heated question was whether the driver or the race car is more important. Over the years I lost track and I don’t remember if any of those discussions ever concluded. So now, 25 years later, let me try to engage in a slightly similar but hopefully more balanced... » read more

Earthquake Proof Your Software Development


In this blog we tend to focus on the benefits and opportunities that arise when using virtual prototyping. However, in real life we well know that any situation bears not only opportunities but also risks. I was reminded of this by the recent earthquake disaster in Kumamoto Japan. Having lived in the most earthquake prone areas in the world for the past 10 years, I know firsthand how easy it is... » read more

Gaps In Performance, Power Coverage


The semiconductor industry always has used metrics to define progress, and in areas such as functional verification significant advances have been made. But so far, no effective metrics have been developed for power, performance, or other system-level concerns, which basically means that design teams have to run blind. On the plus side, the industry has migrated from the use of code coverage... » read more

Abstraction: Necessary But Evil


Abstraction allows aspects of a design to be described in an executable form much earlier in the flow. But some abstractions are breaking down, and an increasing amount of lower-level information has to be brought upstream in order to provide estimates that are close enough to reality so informed decisions can be made. The value of abstractions in design cannot be overstated. High levels of ... » read more

What ESL Is Really About


There has been an almost constant disagreement between the generally held view about what ESL is and my own views on the subject. It is not completely surprising, given that I have spent most of my time as a verification specialist working within the EDA industry. EDA has been driven by design, and all of the largest EDA companies grew out of advances on the design side. [getkc id="10" kc_na... » read more

Is Your Automotive Software Robust Enough for Hardware Faults?


In this whitepaper, we will apply virtual Fault Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) concepts on a specific case study, an Electrical Vehicle Powertrain (EVP) system. We will show how this EVP system is refined from a Software-in-the Loop (SIL) level to a virtual Hardware-in-the-Loop level (vHIL), using a Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK). Hardware faults are applied to the resulting system and its ... » read more

Blurring The Lines On Prototyping


Prototyping is an integral part of every [getkc id="81" kc_name="SoC"] today, with two main approaches being used: virtual or software-based, and physical, which includes FPGA-based boards as well as hardware emulation systems. [getkc id="104" kc_name="Virtual prototyping"] is typically used for software development in the early stages of SoC design, even before SoC [getkc id="49" kc_name="R... » read more

Accelerate IP Software Development With Virtual Prototypes


Almost all electronics devices have some way to connect to other devices. While we don’t really think about it a lot, these interfaces actually have to be quite smart and need to deal with a lot of different device types and/or handle a great deal of data, preferably all while consuming as little power as possible. As a result, device drivers for this type of interface IP are non-trivial.... » read more

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