For press and analysts, the Cadence booth was the place to be at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in San Jose, California, at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday May 3. That's when the shroud came off the covered booth and Cadence officially unveiled the System Development Suite, a new set of concurrent, connected hardware/software development platforms. About 30 editors and analysts came to the booth to hear presentations that were later repeated at a customer reception at the San Jose Museum of Art.
Nimish Modi (right, front) and John Bruggeman talk to press and analysts about the System Development Suite at the Embedded Systems Conference
John Bruggeman speaks about the System Development Suite at a customer reception
If you're in the consumer marketplace, "thirty" editors and analysts may not sound like a large number, but in the relatively small EDA industry, it is. A long-time editor myself, I didn't even know there were that many West Coast editors and analysts following EDA, but there they were - and they were clearly interested in what Cadence is up to.
Small wonder. Cadence introduced the EDA360 vision a year ago, providing an expanded view of EDA that extends to complete hardware/software systems ready for applications deployment. While Cadence has made a number of EDA360-related announcements over the past year, the System Development Suite is the biggest step made so far.
In brief, the suite consists of four tightly integrated platforms that support hardware/software co-development and debugging throughout the pre-silicon design process. Within the suite, new tools for virtual prototyping and FPGA-based prototyping work closely with existing solutions for testbench simulation and RTL acceleration/emulation. A recent Industry Insights blog post has more details.
Back to the Vision
At both events John Bruggeman, Cadence CMO, gave a brief overview of the EDA360 vision. EDA360 is centered around the realization that software applications have become the primary differentiator for systems companies, and as a result, semiconductor companies are having to provide both hardware and software. Meanwhile, complexity has accelerated, time-to-market has shrunk, and cost has become an even more significant concern. "The market is moving much faster than we expected a year ago," Bruggeman said.
Nimish Modi, senior vice president for R&D of System and Software Realization at Cadence, talked in more detail about the challenges of hardware/software co-development and convergence. He stressed the importance of concurrent development, noting that "serialized hardware/software development is no longer viable." After noting that current solutions are closed and fragmented, he presented the System Development Suite as a solution that is open (standards-based), connected (allowing easy migration between platforms), and scalable (extendable to large, multi-core designs).
Kevin McDermott, director of market development for the System Design Division at ARM, then spoke about the rapidly rising costs of hardware/software development and the challenge of meeting time-to-market. He noted that ARM uses the System Development Suite for internal development and design enablement.
Following the presentations, editors and customers had many questions, and Cadence technical people were nearby to help answer them. By Wednesday morning coverage had already appeared at EE Times, Gabe on EDA, SemiWiki.com, and New Electronics. Meanwhile, the blog posts listed below are currently at Cadence.com, with more on the way.
Building Open Virtual Platforms -- Bridging the Gap of Model Availability
By Steven Brown
Cadence System Development Suite - The Story is the Continuum
By Richard Goering
The Challenge of System Integration and Bring-Up
By Ran Avinun
Finally, let me point to a couple of videos you may find interesting. At the Cadence site, Narendra Konda of NVidia explains how his company uses the System Development Suite. And the ARM YouTube site has a video interview with John Bruggeman.
We expect there will be a lot more discussion in days to come !