We all know that a modern system is not just defined by its hardware, but equally by the software and in many cases the success of the product relies on how well they work together. No longer can software development, debug and integration be left as an afterthought. While we have come to accept this in the SoC world, the use of advanced verification techniques within the FPGA world has been slower to take off. Because of that, this news released by Altera and Synopsys came as quite a surprise to me. Perhaps more people are beginning to realize that you can’t just muddle through with a large FPGA based design anymore.
Synopsys has announced the use of its Virtual Prototyping Solution in Altera’s newly announced SoC FPGA Virtual Target software development platform. The Virtual Target enables engineers to begin writing software for systems based on Altera's SoC FPGAs months before hardware availability, reducing development time and costs. Altera chose to leverage Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution due to its comprehensive and proven technology, highly productive debugging and analysis tools for multicore platforms and broad model portfolio, which includes transaction-level models of the ARM® Cortex™-A9 processor and Synopsys DesignWare® IP.
Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing, Altera Corporation says "Being able to deliver a virtual target based on Synopsys' virtual prototyping technology is key to helping our customers address the growing software complexity in their SoC FPGA-based designs."
This kind of solution could deliver significant time and cost savings to software developers, enabling them to debug and fix software defects in a matter of days rather than weeks. In addition, it provides significant productivity increases compared to the use of traditional development platforms such as emulators and hardware simulators. Since the SoC FPGA virtual target is binary- and register-compatible with the final SoC FPGA development board that it models, they can save software development time and almost eliminate integration time once the SoC FPGA is available.
John Koeter, vice president of IP and systems marketing at Synopsys says "Virtual prototyping provides significant value to the electronic systems supply chain because it gives both hardware and software developers a common design platform and a head start on software development."
For more information about Altera and Synopsys' collaboration on the Virtual Target, click here.
Brian Bailey – keeping you covered
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