We had a great day on system design yesterday, followed by
great party at Austin City Limits with "Asleep At The Wheel" and the EDA band
around Jim Hogan. Today shapes up to be just as great!
We started early today at 8:00am with our Cadence System-to-Silicon Breakfast. Brian Fuller was moderating, Mike Stellfox introduced the
challenges of today's designs followed by AMD's Alex Starr talking about their
use of emulation and how it is augmented with virtualized environments. Mihir Pandya from Freescale continued with an
overview of bringup of a sub-system in FPGA-based prototyping, and Avi Ziv from
IBM talked about coverage and 24x7 verification challenges. There was an
interesting panel afterwards, which Richard Goering or I will cover in a future blog post.
Later in the day we again have a great line-up of
presentations at the Cadence DAC Theatre, as well as a hig- profile panel
on the future of hardware-assisted verification in the DAC Pavillion.
Starting at 11:30am, Forte and Cadence will present together
on "How to Broadly Deploy SystemC High-level Synthesis for Production Hardware
Design". While we are obviously competing on winning customers day to day, this
will be an interesting market overview about the general challenges and reasons
to move up to high-level synthesis, as well as the overall market dynamics
high-level synthesis introduces, including new approaches to verification.
Our own Raghu Binnamangalam will present on Palladium's low-power optimization capabilties in, "Smarter, Greener Systems with Superior Productivity and
Increased Predictability Using Dynamic Power Analysis" at the DAC Designer
Track, Hall 5, Session 3.20. Low power is becoming more and more crucial for
our customers. Cadence Palladium has quite a lead with our patented "Dynamic
Power Analysis", recently described by TI
Users get more than 90% chip-accurate estimates well before silicon and make it
a requirement for tape-out.
Marvell will talk at 12:30pm about "SoC Interconnect Analysis
for Effective Verification, Architectural Exploration and Post-silicon Debug",
using our Interconnect Workbench. This is all about the classic performance analysis,
often done prior to RTL. But these days, the interconnect has become so complex that
a lot of it is best done actually using the real automatically generated RTL.
Marvell will talk about some of the key results they have achieved in different
scenarios, including a video engine cross-bar, for which the write performance
inhibited pipelining requests as quickly as possible, which was root caused back
to a write performance drop due to incorrect IP configuration. Other scenarios include
traffic stress from multiple DMA engines and PCI Express performance.
At 1:00pm, Texas instruments will present "Validation Methods
of SoC Bus Fabric Performance Using Synthesizable SerDes BFMs on Palladium".
The challenges TI is trying to address include optimization of Palladium throughput
for large datasets in its SoCs with SerDes-based peripherals, stress testing and
characterization of SoC fabric performance, as well as pre-silicon software
development. The results TI will show include validation software re-use from
pre-silicon to post-silicon, ready by first silicon, delivery of software
drivers with silicon, verification of data sheet performance specs, as well as development
of the IDE during the pre-silicon stage.
At 2:00pm, Methods2Business will describe a path "Towards
Formally Proven Embedded System Design with an Unambiguous HW/SW Contract". We
will hear about the concept of "contract-based embedded system design" using
software design automation with formal verification based on Verum's toolset, virtual
prototyping for earlier, better and more software validation, and formal verification
to guarantee correct hardware and software. This presentation will show interesting
use cases of virtual platforms using our VSP, extending to hardware verification.
Finally, at 4:00pm, we will have a DAC Pavillion Panel that I
helped organize called "Hardware-Assisted Development in 10 Years: More Need,
More Speed". SemiWiki's Paul McLellan will moderate a panel with AMD's Alex
Starr, Texas Instrument's David Bural, and Broacom's Mehran Ramezani. The DAC
program reads in Texas style that "Emulation has come a long way, y'all!
Panelists explore who benefits, and the state-of-the-art in hardware-assisted
development systems today and in 10 years. Share these users' visions on design
and verification complexity and how they plan to overcome these challenges
through next-generation technology including emulation, acceleration, and
I certainly will come prepared with my questions and hope to
see y'all there!