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Home > About Cadence > Newsroom > Cadence Articles > Cadence Brings Software and Hardware Closer Together Than Ever Before
Cadence Brings Software and Hardware Closer Together
Than Ever Before


An App-Driven Market
The electronics industry is in the era of the app. As software applications have become the primary product differentiator, systems companies now expect their EDA suppliers to provide not only silicon, but complete hardware/software systems ready for apps deployment. No single development platform can address all components for these systems, which require everything from virtual prototyping to acceleration/emulation and testbench simulation to FPGA-based prototyping. Creating today’s systems productively and cost-effectively requires an integrated suite of concurrent HW/SW design and verification platforms.

The biggest limitation with existing HW/SW development is the overall flow. Today’s flows are often based on proprietary formats, and are closed to third-party tools. Conventional flows require manual migration from hardware to software and from one development environment to another, which may take months. And they do not scale to the demands of complex HW/SW design projects. As a result, 50% of overall development time can be spent on system integration and bring-up. A new solution from Cadence completely changes the way companies approach System Realization.

The Cadence System Development Suite
The Cadence® System Development Suite accelerates system integration, validation, and bring-up with a set of four connected platforms for concurrent HW/SW design and verification. Its technologies span the entire design cycle, from early architectural-level software development through testbench simulation and system validation to prototyping. The new System Development Suite is:
  • Open—it supports industry-standard languages and protocols, third-party tools, and multiple levels of design abstraction
  • Connected—is allows fast and easy migration among the four platforms, from task to task, and between HW/SW domains
  • Scalable—it delivers sufficient performance, capacity, and embedded software volume distribution as needs fluctuate
Built to integrate with market-leading Cadence technologies—the Incisive® Verification Platform and the Palladium® XP Verification Computing Platform—the System Development Suite extends the power of familiar simulation and emulation-based environments with two new hardware-aware software development platforms. Each of the four platforms is optimized for a different part of the system development flow.

Nimish Modi of Cadence discusses system development trends, customer challenges, and how the Cadence System Development Suite enables concurrent hardware/software design and verification at every stage of the development cycle.
Narendra Konda of NVIDIA outlines how the Cadence System Development Suite helps his design team successfully integrate complex hardware and software, quickly develop app-ready systems, and ultimately improve the overall quality of their products.
“The System Development Suite is an industry first, providing a development continuum that enables engineers to have a seamless migration path through the design phases,” says Nimish Modi, Sr. Vice President of the System Realization Group at Cadence. “This integrated flow embodies the open, connected, and scalable tenets of our approach to System Realization and provides a significant breakthrough in addressing the challenges of early software development and hardware/software convergence, leading to a dramatic reduction in development schedules.”

“In order to streamline the system development process of ARM-based designs, we have collaborated with Cadence extensively over the last 10 years. The new Cadence approach of delivering a single environment for virtual prototyping, emulation and FPGA-based prototyping is clearly a need for future complex designs,” said Joe Convey, director of Design Enablement at ARM. “Continuing our collaboration to link the Cadence System Development Suite with ARM IP will enable our mutual customers with a pathway to product success.”

Cadence Virtual System Platform
The Virtual System Platform is a new solution for early software development at the architectural and prototype design phases. It provides an integrated HW/SW debug environment with unique multi-core capabilities, it is connected to the RTL verification flow, and it automates and accelerates the creation of new transaction-level models (TLMs). While ideal for pre-RTL, architectural-level software development, the Virtual System Platform can also be used in a post-RTL mode to generate virtual prototypes that provide an alternative to reference boards.

Cadence Incisive Verification Platform
The Incisive Verification Platform is a complete family of tools optimized for block- and chip-level verification with testbench simulation as a focal point. It also includes technologies for metric-driven verification planning and management, verification IP creation and reuse, mixed-signal simulation, and formal analysis. Incisive Software Extensions enable software driver verification and the SimVision debug user interface is used by all other Platforms in the Suite.

Cadence Verification Computing Platform
The Verification Computing Platform performs advanced simulation acceleration and emulation in a single environment, with hot-swap capability for instant migration among tasks. Ideal for long regression tests and system validation, it enables in-circuit emulation, performs HW/SW co-verification, and offers flexible support for hard/soft IP. It also supports dynamic power analysis, low-power verification, and transaction-based acceleration for a Universal Verification Methodology (UVM)-based flow.

Cadence Rapid Prototyping Platform
This new FPGA-based prototyping solution combines high-capacity FPGA boards with a complete implementation and debug software flow. Ideal for exhaustive regression tests and cycle-accurate software development, the Rapid Prototyping Platform speeds bring-up time, automates multi-FPGA partitioning, and includes a powerful debug capability.

This open, connected, and scalable suite of platforms can greatly reduce time to market and product development costs. As such, the new Cadence System Development Suite comes at the perfect time in a new era of application-driven design. “Our Suite provides a level of connection between hardware and software that hasn’t existed until now and will not only enable the most efficient design methods possible, but will redefine the system design process moving forward,” summarizes John Bruggeman, Sr. Vice President and CMO of Cadence.



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