Showing posts with label Simulation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Simulation. Show all posts

Acceleration And Emulation – Why HW/SW Integration Needs Both

Acceleration, Emulation, and FPGA prototypes are most talked about these days and each has a distinctive role to play. In our earlier post we reflected on the Cadence rollout of Palladium XP, a verification computing platform that unifies acceleration capabilities from the Incisive Xtreme product line with Incisive Palladium emulation, incorporating some of the strongest capabilities from each platform.  You can read the press release here, but in his blog Richard Goering looks at the larger story behind the announcement. Why put acceleration and emulation in a single environment? What role does either play in hardware/software integration? And how do we define "acceleration" and "emulation," anyway?

Cadence Debuts Verification Computing Platform

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. has announced a fully integrated high-performance verification computing platform, called Palladium XP, that unifies simulation, acceleration and emulation into a single verification environment. Developed to support next-generation designs, the highly scalable Palladium XP verification computing platform lets design and verification teams bring up their hardware/ software environment faster and produce better quality embedded systems in a shorter time.

Cadence Palladium XP supports design configurations up to 2 billion gates, delivering performance up to 4MHz and supporting up to 512 users simultaneously. The platform also provides unique system-level solutions, including low-power analysis and metric-driven verification.

"Our system-integration challenges require us to improve our tools and methodologies continuously. Cadence has kept pace with our requirements and provided us with an excellent verification computing platform," said Narendra Konda, Director of Engineering, NVIDIA. "Cadence Palladium XP helps us design, verify and integrate the hardware and software components of our advanced graphics processing unit (GPU) better than ever to stay at the top of our game."

The Palladium XP verification computing platform provides developers a high-fidelity representation of their design so they can quickly and confidently locate and fix bugs, resulting in better-quality IP, subsystems, SOCs and system. Design teams can "hot swap" simulation with acceleration and emulation in a scalable verification environment as needed, which speeds the verification process and enables early access to testing embedded software and evaluating performance implications of different IP and/or system architectures.

"With the introduction of multicore IP platforms, ARM and our customers are facing new design requirements to integrate and run complex CPU sub-systems with software," said Dr. John Goodenough, Worldwide Director of Design Technology at ARM. "Like its predecessor, the Palladium XP verification computing platform will be a valuable validation tool for these advanced designs. Our initial trials have shown that the Palladium XP runs current ARM workloads out of the box, with the additional ability to trade off domain utilization for higher performance."


The Palladium XP verification computing platform is available now worldwide. It is offered in two configurations, XL for design teams, and GXL for enterprise-class global teams.

Event simulation versus cycle simulation

By popular demand:

Event simulation allows the design to contain simple timing information - the delay needed for a signal to travel from one point to another. During simulation, signal changes are tracked in the form of events. A change at a certain time triggers an event after a certain delay. Events are sorted by time when they will occur, and when all events for a particular time have been handled, the simulated time is advanced to the time of the next scheduled event. How fast an event simulation runs depends on the number of events to be processed (the amount of activity in the model).

In cycle simulation, it is not possible to specify delays. A cycle-accurate model is used, and every gate is evaluated in every cycle. Cycle simulation therefore runs at a constant speed, regardless of activity in the model. Optimized implementations may make take advantage of low model activity to speed up simulation by skipping evaluation of gates whos inputs didn't change.

While event simulation can provide some feedback regarding signal timing, it is not a replacement for static timing analysis.
In comparison to event simulation, cycle simulation tends to be faster, to scale better, and to be better suited for hardware acceleration / emulation.