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The first day of DAC starts off today with four great
presentations on system design at our DAC Theatre. Freescale will
present on their use of FPGA-based prototyping, AMD will show their enhanced
use of Palladium together with TLM models, ARM will present their model and
debug connections to all System Development Suite (SDS) engines, and Broadcom will
round up today's SD-related presentations outlining their use of Palladium
with advanced embedded testbenches.
Freescale will kick it off at 9:30am with a presentation
titled "Implementation of a Multi-threaded 64-bit Power Architecture Core on
the RPP, FPGA-based Prototyping System". They will outline the advantages of
using Palladium Emulation in conjunction with FPGA-based prototyping. While
emulation on Palladium offers easier bring up, better hardware debug, and higher
capacity of gates, memories, etc., using RPP FPGA-based prototyping is about
10X faster and more accessible to software developers at lower cost. They will
describe the build of the e6500 PPC core on RPP. As a result, they were able to
quickly run CoreMark and many other benchmarks for performance validation and
were able to get performance metrics via the Nexus trace through the external DDR
memory interface. For benchmarking, they rebuilt design changes for performance in about a day or two, and completed and tested software/compiler optimizations for benchmarks within minutes.
That's quite a set of results, showing nicely the different
sweet spots for emulation and FPGA-based prototyping. While FPGA-based
prototyping is great for software development, our Palladium XP offers 2.5X
faster turnaround time for isolating and debugging compared to its nearest
competitor, helping to remove those bugs in the critical path of customer
AMD will talk at 12:30pm about "Complementing In-Circuit
Emulation with Virtualization for Improved Efficiency, Debug Productivity and
Performance". They consider the benefits of emulation to be growing by the day, with
users looking to emulation and other technologies to improve their productivity.
To meet the new challenges, new complementary usage models for emulation are
emerging and AMD will specifically talk about hybrid emulation with virtual
platforms and embedding devices inside emulators using accelerated VIP. With
those hybrids, AMD was able to improve application-level performance compared
to traditional emulation by factors of 2X-20X and experience improved software debug
using Virtual Platform debuggers.
At 2:00pm, ARM will present on "Accelerating Your Time to
Market with ARM Software Development Tools and the Cadence System Development
Suite". The presentation will center around how both ARM Fast Models for
processors and interconnect can be used together with the SDS engines for
actual execution, as well as how the Development Studio 5 (DS-5) connects to
Virtual Prototyping, Palladium XP, and RPP FPGA-based prototyping for software
debug. The following graph depicts the connections.
Finally, at 2:30pm, Broadcom will talk about "Faster System Bring-up with an Embedded Testbench on Palladium". They will introduce the
challenges for firmware and hardware pre-silicon co-development, including "Pre-Silicon
SoC Level Verification" with complicated and long duration firmware algorithms
and concurrent operations; "Pre-Silicon Hardware and Software Co-Debug" with functional
block configuration, fluid hardware interface (register bit-field) definitions,
peripheral devices coexistence and correct
clock ratios; "Pre-Silicon Performance Measurement", "Pre-Silicon Device Driver
Development"; and "Pre-Silicon Power Management Verification". As for their approach on Palladium, they will describe
a fully synthesizable testbench with firmware-controlled peripheral models
capable of behaving like the actual device (PID, VID, transfer size, and buffer
size) for camera, LCD, SIM, etc. Their results were nothing short of fantastic -
they experienced the fastest SoC bring-up ever, were able to provide
development platforms to software teams, and found critical system integration
This is shapig up to be quite an exciting day for system design
at DAC. It is always great to see real users show real experiences - see you at
our DAC Theatre!