I think all of us engineers have faced at one point or another the need to explain to our parents or friends what we are actually working on. Hey Mom, EDA is where electronics begins! Without us electronics would not change our day to day lives ...
Punctually for Mothers day, which I spent with my Mom back home in Berlin, Germany, I got the opportunity to explain how important the technologies my team and I are working on really are. The Cadence Virtual System Platform VSP, part of the System Development Suite, was nominated as a finalist for the American Technology Awards in the category "Software".
What an honor! This is so significant because of the co-nominees we have for his prestigious award. Just being co-nominated with them is fantastic. There is IBM's Watson, which runs software that performs so fast that it can rival the greatest human contestants at the Jeopardy game show by taking clues and arriving at a single, precise answer. And there is the Raritan dcTrack DCIM Software, which helps users manage the clouds we are all starting to use (at this point I am interrupting my writing briefly to check whether Game of Thrones has synchronized to my Dropbox yet - a cool cloud application - so that I can sync it with my iPod). dcTrack provides users with real-time information about their facilities, networks and IT, and visualizes their infrastructure to help them manage placement of their IT equipment, make informed capacity management decisions, and keep accurate track of their data center assets.
So, by association with those other nominees, it suddenly became very easy to explain to my Mom why the tools my team and I are responsible for are important. It's co-nominated with that software that won Jeopardy!
All that aside, here are my personal top reasons why I think Cadence VSP clearly deserves to be nominated:
- With VSP virtual prototyping the industry is closing the gap to the next level of abstraction for design entry, i.e. getting to the transaction level. We are getting close to the point at which all three necessary steps - software enablement with tools like VSP, high-level synthesis, and transaction based verification - can all be derived from the same architectural intent! This step, as I have written many times before, is just as crucial as the move from gates to RTL was a little more than a decade ago.
- VSP is part of a bigger vision, the System Development Suite. This is a set of connected engines from transaction-level modeling with VSP, simulation with our Incisive Functional Verification Platform, emulation and acceleration with our Palladium XP Verification Computing Platform, and finally FPGA based prototyping with our Rapid Prototyping Platform. This is the continuum of engines required by all our customers to get their designs bug free to market at the right time. VSP is the starting anchor with which users begin at the transaction-level.
- VSP in itself has unique capabilities, which are in part enabled because of its position in and proximity to the System Development Suite. Especially in the domains of mixed TLM/RTL execution, efficient hardware/software validation, multicore debug, and efficient TLM model creation, VSP really shines.
The winners may be announced sometime later this week. But no matter who wins, just by association with the other nominees I am humbled and proud to be part of the team being involved in VSP's development.