Mentor puts emulation at heart of USB 3 designs
Mentor Graphics is working with USB test system supplier Teledyne LeCroy on an emulation platform for the verification of system-on-chip (SoC) devices incorporating the SuperSpeed USB serial interface protocol.
Mentor will combine its Veloce2 hardware emulation technology and iSolve applications with Teledyne LeCroy’s Voyager M3i series SuperSpeed USB test system to handle the verification of multiple SuperSpeed USB ports deployed in SoC designs.
Now being designed into consumer, networking, mobile devices and PC peripherals, SuperSpeed USB (3.0) supports dat rates of up to 4.8Gbit/s, ten times faster than USB 2.
This is an example of how emulators are changing the economics of semiconductor and full system design as SoC device and protocol compexity increases.
In particular the move to multicore processor architectures has forced a change from a reliance on design simulation to hardware and software emulation of semiconductors and systems.
“We are seeing a fundamental change,” Wally Rhines, CEO of Mentor Graphics told Electronics Weekly.
“Emulation will take a bigger and bigger portion of design verification,” said Rhines.
According to Rhines, the attraction of the emulator is that embedded software design, test program design and simulators can feed into it.
“The emulator becomes the hub of the verification process. It takes on the function of the simulator and improves on it,” said Rhines.
The Veloce2 hardware/software emulation system is capable of emulating up to two billion gate designs, the new emulator has twice the performance and twice the capacity of the earlier generation.
The new tool has also changed the way peripheral devices such as USB are emulated in the system design.
Dubbed Veloce VirtuaLAB, the firm is offering a series of software-based peripherals connected to the Veloce emulator.
“Mentor’s Veloce2 family of advanced hardware-assisted verification solutions complements our Voyager M3i SuperSpeed USB test systems to deliver a pre-silicon test solution for SuperSpeed USB host controllers, hub designs, and peripheral devices,” said Michael Romm, v-p of product development at Teledyne LeCroy’s Protocol Solutions Group.