Synopsys has released a new prototyping environment that combines technology from Virtio, Coware, and Vast. When the Virtio acquisition was announced in May of 2006, few if any would have stated that the acquisition was the first step in the implementation of a long range plan. Five years plans, and possibly longer, that are actually implemented are extremely rare in EDA. And yet, last year the company acquired CoWare, another company with technology closely related to virtual prototyping, and Vast Systems, a company with IP that is used by many automotive company around the world.
All is left is to wait and see how the Virage Logic acquisition will fit in the virtual prototyping market: I have ideas, but they are not for free.
The Virtualizer tool set is part of Synopsys next-generation virtual prototyping solution. Virtualizer addresses the increasing development challenges associated with software-rich semiconductor and electronic products by enabling companies to accelerate both the development of virtual prototypes and the deployment of these prototypes to software teams. Marc Serughetti, Director Product Marketing - Virtual Prototyping has stated that prototypes created with Virtualizer allow engineers to accelerate software development schedules by up to nine months, and deliver up to a 5X productivity boost over traditional approaches to teams performing software development, hardware/software integration, system-on-chip (SoC) verification and system validation.
For developers creating a virtual prototype, Virtualizer's graphical design entry, software debug, and analysis components combined with Synopsys' broad portfolio of system-level models deliver the fastest time to prototype availability. For software engineers using a virtual prototype of their system to create, integrate, and verify software, Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) offer a cost-effective development platform capable of executing unmodified production code at near real-time speed. VDKs provide fast and accurate virtual prototype simulation combined with unmatched multicore-aware software debug and analysis capabilities, concurrent hardware/software analysis, and synchronized debugging with third-party software debuggers and integrated development environments (IDEs). Open and standards-based, Virtualizer supports key industry standards such as OSCI TLM-2.0 and SystemC™ and runs on both Windows and Linux operating systems.
Virtualizer's set of integration capabilities enables development teams to be more efficient and increase the degree of concurrent engineering in their product development process. Combined with FPGA-based prototyping such as Synopsys' HAPS systems, Virtualizer facilitates SoC validation and software bring up at near real-time performance. Connecting Virtualizer with RTL simulators such as Synopsys' VCS and emulation platforms such as EVE's ZeBu enables the use of embedded software in hardware verification environments. Software developers can integrate prototypes based on Virtualizer with their existing debuggers and IDEs, retaining their existing software tool investment. Virtualizer also gives electronic product developers the ability to conduct system validation by networking multiple virtual prototypes together with physical system simulation, testbenches and virtual I/Os. With this broad range of integration capabilities, Virtualizer is uniquely positioned to support the entire electronic supply chain by accelerating development at all stages of the product design cycle.