SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Aptix Corp., a supplier of FPGA-based emulation systems, plans to demonstrate the ability to emulate the ARM926EJ-S microprocessor core and PrimeXsys peripherals on an Aptix Software Integration Station at the DATE exhibition and conference. Aptix has also hosted RTL code for the ARM11 core on an Aptix emulator, the company said.
The ARM926EJ-S microprocessor core on the Aptix box has been prepared to run multimedia applications, including use of a model of the AMBA AHB bus, at multi-megahertz speeds. The demonstration was developed by STMicroelectronics, who are presenting a paper on the emulation in the conference portion of DATE.
A number of microprocessor cores have been set-up to run on the Aptix System Explorer and Software Integration System including MIPS cores and NEC cores.
The PrimeXsys platform is based around the ARM926EJ-S microprocessor core, which incorporates ARM Jazelle technology for Java acceleration, an AMBA multi-layer AHB bus and PrimeCell peripherals.
"We find partners are mainly using Aptix to validate real-software on real RTL but before they commit to silicon," said Ian Thornton a product manager for PrimeXsys. "The PrimeXsys platform is ported to Windows CE and Symbian OS operating systems and running the platform on an emulator allows developers to check out a lot of things; for cache hits and misses, and check out different sizes of tightly coupled memories," he said.
Thornton added that Aptix emulation had also proved valuable with the ARM11 allowing emulation at speed prior to receiving silicon. "It can take six to 12 months from the introduction of a core to get silicon. ARM11 PrimeXsys there are no test chips yet."
The cost and the amount of support that customers would receive from Aptix can be tailored said Amr Mohsen, chairman and chief executive officer. "We offer a modular system with one or two large FPGAs per module and up to, typically, a dozen modules. So the user can accommodate as many ARM cores as required on millions of FPGA gates. We've also had customers building real RF front-ends so that they can use the system for real video conferencing and video playback."
In terms of costings Mohsen said: "We offer two emulation systems; System Explorer includes a lot of logical and physical mapping software that automates things for the user, and there's a lot of debug software to provide flexible probing. But for those customers who don't need that software there is the Software Integration System."
Mohsen said pricing depended on how heavily systems were loaded with modules but that a typical value for a six-month lease on the SIS is $50,000, whereas the System Explorer might more typically be leased for 12 months at a cost of $150,000.