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ACE is here. Are you ready?
Designers of multimedia smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices face greater challenges than ever. They have to deliver ever more capable and responsive systems, yet must also consume the least amount of power possible -- certainly no more than their competitors.To achieve these goals, designers have been employing multi-processor architectures for many years. However, the need to squeeze the last drop of performance and power out of these compute clusters is now paramount. A big area of opportunity for performance gains/power reductions is through moving software-based cache-coherency management into hardware. ARM introduced the AMBA Coherency Extensions (ACE) protocol in June 2011 to address these very needs.
But alas, as we all know, there's no free lunch. Placing such an extensive additional function into hardware significantly expands the functional verification challenge and risk. Cadence recognized this well over a year before the ACE specification became public. In close collaboration with ARM we launched an aggessive development program to deliver a complete ACE verification solution in time for ARM's lead Cortex-A15 customers to use. That goal was accomplished and enabled Cadence to have mature verification IP (VIP) in time for ARM's public announcement of ACE.
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The need for ACE and ACE verification as well as Cadence's VIP solution are discussed in the recently published EE Times article "Get control of ARM system cache coherency with ACE verification". I encourage you to take a look.
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And, as you plan your ACE or AMBA® 4 based system, I recommend that you connect with Cadence, the leading experts in this field. We have the most capable and mature solutions to help. Talk to you soon!