Co-Developing ICs and Their Software Stacks
Frank Schirrmeister of Cadence tells me they have a product which allows very early co-development of ICs and their software stacks.
It might seem obvious that you co-develop the software and the hardware, but it has not been done that way in the past because it is a difficult thing to achieve.
So that has meant that a chip has to be spun before the software development begins.
Schirrmeister, director of the product which is called System Development Suite, explains: “Architects define the chip and, if they’re really diligent, the design registers, map and define functions and the hardware guys go off and implement the chip. The software chaps see the spec and assume it’s correct and, in a perfect world, that would work.”
“But,” he adds, “chips are never implemented the way they’re specified. Architects never get it completely right.”
And the result of that is the software effort is wasted. The software guys might just as well have waited until the chip was real to start work.
Cadence’s product aims to provide real-time correlation between the hardware development and software development taking into account all the changes and mistakes.
“So we’re enabling software development early in the design flow,” says Schirrmeister, “users used to wait for the chip and then develop the software. We saw the need to parallelise things.”