Imagination goes with Mentor for chip emulation

Eric Selosse

Eric Selosse

Imagination Technologies has adopted the Mentor Graphics Veloce 2 enterprise emulation platform which it will use for  verification of its processor cores.

“The Veloce co-modeling technology enabled us to reduce our regression times,” said Mark Dunn, executive v-p SoC Design, Imagination Technologies.

“Imagination has shown us how better emulation technology helps their business through benefits such as better coverage of corner cases, increased co-model throughput, better debug, and low power verification,” said Eric Selosse, vice president of the Mentor Emulation division.

Big chip emulation

Mentor’s Eric Selosse writes:

The deployment of hardware emulation has evolved rapidly in the past five years, and the market has grown in response to recent innovations, many of which are driven by the Mentor Graphics Veloce product group. Perhaps the most significant evolution for emulation is its transition from the engineering lab to the datacenter.

As little as five years ago most hardware emulators sat in an engineering lab, hard-wired to multiple, physical, speed adaptors used to replicate the end environment of the chip being verified. These days, when I tour our customers’ facilities, they take me to the datacenter to see their Veloce emulators, not the engineering lab.

My team at Mentor Graphics, driven by demand from our most advanced users, pioneered the move to the virtual lab, where peripheral devices such as PCIe, USB, Ethernet, and multimedia exist in virtual space and don’t require specialised hardware or a maze of I/O cables. Virtual peripherals permit instant reconfiguration of the emulator for any design or project team and access by more users, maximising utilisation of Veloce emulators and boosting the customer’s return on investment.

Owing to their lack of flexibility, physical peripherals often lead to underutilization of the emulator. Unique designs demand a unique set of peripherals, and each simultaneous user requires their own peripheral suite, effectively personalizing the emulator to a single project and limiting the number of users.

The emulator often sits idle on nights and weekends, since the set of unique physical peripherals effectively locks out other project teams around the world who otherwise could make productive use of the resource during off hours. Veloce’s virtual peripherals are instantly configured from any place around the globe, resulting in high utilisation of this capital investment.

Our focus on full SoC software execution and debug also drives growth of the emulation market. Comprehensive end-to-end validation of SW drivers pushing data out peripheral interfaces to target virtual peripherals greatly increases the verification coverage of advanced SoC software and hardware.

 

 

 

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