Book review: “shift left” with virtual prototypes
Synopsys has just released a new book titled “Better Software. Faster!” extolling the benefits of virtual prototyping for embedded software development. In a refreshing approach, editor Tom De Schutter has embedded software developers from companies across several industries tell the story of how they are succeeding with virtual prototyping. For those heavily involved in embedded software development or project management, those new to the idea of virtual prototyping, or management teams deeply interested in on-time delivery, this is a solid read.
Mar 26, 2014

10 Must Knows About Virtual Prototypes
What is a virtual prototype? Not all virtual prototypes are the same, not everyone defines them the same way, and not all of them work together. But they still can be very useful.
Feb 27, 2014

Hardware-Software Rift Persists
While the hardware and software teams really may not be getting closer together, or speak the same language, it is clear that systems depend on both to be successful.
Feb 13, 2014

Powerful Software Optimization
There are differing views on how to model software, but there is almost universal agreement that it is an increasingly vital part of the SoC design process.
Dec 05, 2013

What’s Next for Power Optimization
Most chipmakers do RTL power optimization today, but where are they in terms of the possible power savings and what comes next?
Dec 05, 2013

How to Design an LTE Modem
Designing an LTE modem is an interesting case study in architectural and system level design because it is pretty much on the limit of what is possible in a current process node such as 28nm.
Sep 16, 2013

Debugging with Virtual Prototypes
This is the first of a series of articles on using virtual prototyping to debug embedded software. The articles that follow will focus on case studies that illustrate both techniques and advantages. This article reviews the main challenges in software debug and the context in which virtual prototypes (VPs) can be used.
Sep 10, 2013

Advanced Fault Injection Methods for Safety Critical Systems
ISO 26262 is a functional safety standard that replaces the older and more generic IEC 61508 standard for passenger vehicles. ISO 26262 addresses hazards caused by malfunctioning behavior of electric and electronic safety related systems. The standard provides a well-defined, automotive-specific safety life cycle. It also provides an automotive-specific, risk-based approach focused on automotive safety integrity levels, ASIL. Finally, ISO 26262 provides requirements and recommended methods for validation of the safety levels.
Jul 26, 2013

Delivering Virtual Microcontroller Models to Tier 1 and OEM Development Teams
As virtual prototypes are becoming part of the automotive Tier 1 and OEM development flows, Marc Serughetti, Synopsys, explains how the availability of virtual microcontroller models is becoming essential, and how Synopsys is working with automotive semiconductor companies to provide them.
May 15, 2013

Advanced Virtualization Tools for Development of Automotive Applications: Synopsys
In the automotive industry, millions of lines of code must be written, tested and thoroughly debugged to ensure that new vehicles meet performance requirements and buyer expectations. Due to tight production schedules, complex software must be developed before the actual hardware becomes available. Synopsys, a Renesas technology partner and a global leader in EDA tools and semiconductor IP, helps system engineers overcome this challenge.
Apr 29, 2013

So, Just What Is ESL?
The challenges now facing semiconductor companies are huge, and they don't stop with complexity. In tiny geometries, with as many as tens of millions of gates, today's SOCs are likely to be multicore and to have on them up to 100 IP blocks. The clincher, though, is that despite all that complexity, silicon has become almost a commodity with software having become the differentiator.
Mar 11, 2013

Virtualizer Development Kits: Fast Track to DesignWare IP Software Prototyping
This article will introduce how Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) enable software prototyping and bring up for DesignWare IP. The article will illustrate the innovative board level VDK construction concept which overcomes the typical hurdle of creating a virtual prototype and introduces how VDKs sit in the comfort zone of embedded software developers by leveraging a wide embedded software ecosystem for ARM's Versatile Express reference board and enables standard 3rd party debug tools. The specific VDK software enablement capabilities for Synopsys' DesignWare IP will be explained by means of interface peripherals such as MMC, GMAC, USB and I2C.
Jan 29, 2013

Software Testing for Safety-critical Automotive Systems
The automotive industry faces a significant challenge: to release cars with zero software defects. The number of recalls and redesigns due to software problems illustrates the magnitude of the challenge – they have grown exponentially over the last decade. There are major economic implications for manufacturers since the cost of recalling a vehicle can be huge, especially when the issue affects the integrity of the brand. - Victor Reyes, Synopsys
Dec 17, 2012

Ten Technologies that Will Change the World in 2013
Virtual prototypes allow designers to save development time as well as cut costs. Synopsys' Virtualizer creates VPs from its EDA model libraries and block-creation flows. VPs are then submitted to Synopsys' hardware/software analysis tools to verify SoC performance.
Dec 03, 2012

Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 2: Building a sensor subsystem
In the second of a three-part series of articles on virtual prototyping, Achim Nohl explains how to use the Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) and describes the hardware/software integration flow for a sensor subsystem for use in an Android mobile device.
Nov 07, 2012

ARM-based Android hardware-software design using virtual prototypes - Part 1: Why virtualize?
In the first in a three part Product How-To series on virtual prototyping, Achim Nohl describes how to use the Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) to do early prototyping. He also explains how to do full software integration of handset hardware in the context of the Android software platform.
Oct 27, 2012

30 years of DSP: From a child's toy to 4G and beyond
Dec 18, 2011, marked the 25th anniversary of EDA provider Synopsys Inc, which has been both witness to and participant in the evolution of signal processing.
Aug 27, 2012

Software Testing for Safety-Critical Systems
Virtual prototypes provide complete frameworks to create advanced fault-injection scenarios, which are non-intrusive, run faster and offer more control and visibility than traditional methods. Victor Reyes, Synopsys, explains their relevance to new safety-critical standards like ISO 26262.
Aug 01, 2012

Get a Head Start: Early Software Bring-up for ARM big.LITTLE Processing
Learn from experts at Synopsys and ARM how VDKs can help speed up software bring-up for ARM big.LITTLE processing.
Jun 21, 2012

Software Agnostic Approaches to Explore Pre-silicon System Performance
A new modeling methodology is proposed to improve performance validation at an early stage in the design cycle of systems dedicated to handheld devices. Hardware models are typically available early in the chipset development cycle, but software, such as multimedia applications, may not be developed until after the ASIC is designed. An alternative source of simulation stimulus must be found so that hardware models can be exercised in the absence of such software. This paper describes three approaches that overcome this dependency and enable the validation of application processor performance at the architecture stage of silicon design: high-level software models, trace-driven characterization, and statistical traffic models. Correlation between actual measurements and simulation outputs demonstrates that these methods provide adequate accuracy for performance validation.
May 22, 2012

Virtual Platforms: Breaking New Grounds
The case for developing and using virtual platforms (VPs) has now been made. If developers of complex HW/SW systems are not using VPs for their current design, complexity of next generation designs demands for their adoption. This paper summarizes a special session focused on the latest applications and latest use cases for VPs. It gives an overview of where this technology is going and the impact on complex system design and verification.
May 22, 2012

Kit Generates Virtual Platforms With Power Debugging Support
Synopsys has been delivering tools to create virtual prototypes for years. The new Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) is designed to make that process easier. One feature is power debugging, which allows designers to see how power utilization performs for various run modes as well as for application execution. This then allows software developers to experiment with different run/idle management strategies as well as testing applications to see how well they perform.
Apr 14, 2012

Prototypes: What is a prototype?
This is the first of a series of articles that will attempt to bring answers together and to provide a comprehensive view of the prototyping space on how EDA vendors categorize prototyping, who creates the models, what are they used for, roadblocks in adoption and their opinions about the future of prototyping. If you are considering inserting a prototype into your design flow, which ones are likely to provide you with the most value and what are the difficulties you can expect to face?
Nov 21, 2011

IEEE Approves Revised IEEE 1666™ "SystemC Language" Standard
IEEE announced that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board has approved a revised version of the IEEE 1666™ "Standard SystemC Language Reference Manual," which specifies SystemC, the high-level design language used in the design and development of electronic systems. The new version of IEEE 1666 encompasses many enhancements, notably the support for transaction-level modeling (TLM), a critical approach to enable higher level and more efficient design of complex integrated circuits (ICs) and system-on-chips (SoCs).
Nov 10, 2011

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