Using native software development pre-silicon with virtual prototypes to debug software and analyze SoC attributes inlcuding latencies and power consumption

Mentor very recently introduced  a product that brings together the so far separate worlds of EDA or SoC design from embedded software with the new Sourcery CodeBench Virtual Edition. There is now a way pre-silicon to make use of native software development, for example running a complete Linux stack. This enables a number of things pre-silicon including:

  • Validation of HW/SW SoC interfaces
  • Integration of drivers, operating systems and applications
  • Profiling and analysis ofSoC attributes including cache hits/misses, latencies and power consumption on a unified timeline

My making use of a Virtual Prototype pre-silicon not only is the process of bringing up software and validation made possible earlier but greater hardware visibility and control can be provided which isn’t available post-silcon. For example Vista Virtual Prototype models add timing and power information which can be visually analyzed with Sourcery Analyzer.

The video above is a short demonstration showing an example of debugging packet transmissions and towards the end you’ll see an example illustrating how power consumption can also be examined and application code changed to reduce power use. The native software development with Sourcery CodeBench illustrated above is extended to running on Emulation targets against RTL and of course is the same experience used to deploy to final hardware (as many people already do). We’ll post more demonstrations of making use of this same application to debug both HW and software on Emulation targets as well as development boards over JTAG in future blog posts.

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Posted April 22nd, 2013, by

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[...] recently posted about using Virtual Prototypes pre-silicon with the recently introduced Sourcery CodeBench Virtual Edition and mentioned that the same native software development approach can be used when RTL is available [...]

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