Looks like an excellent area for discussion. There are so many tricks and techniques out there for quickly creating prototypes it will be very useful to have a 'clearing house' for what works and what doesn't.
I'm particularly interested in any experiences readers have with prototyping MCU-based systems using FPGAs. Has anyone done this or considering it?
Now that FPGAs all seem to be moving to ARM-based devices I seems like it would be possible to create a universal prototype platform that could target a variety of MCUs. Just pick the peripherals you want and fold them into the FPGA.
Are the ARM 'drivers' for peripherals generic enough so that you can move from one implementation of a peripheral to another? (Can I use an API that doesn't really care about the hardware implementation- location of register control bits for an SPI periperal for example- so I can easily retarget a different MCU?
@DrFPGA: There are som many things going on in prototyping space that it makes your head spin. For example, I love the virtual prototypes that allow you to go either forward or backward in the code flow -- like stepping back through instructions or jumping back the the previous function call.
And the bug FPGA-based emulators that can provide the equivalent of ~150 million ASIC gates .... mind boggling is all I can say.