A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog


“Systems” is an overloaded term

When someone talks to you about “systems” what image or word comes to your mind? Well, this is obviously a loaded question and at the end of the day the answer depends on who you are.

Having dealt with people selling hardware development tools to semiconductor companies, I would say that most of the time the first word out of their mouth would be “System-on-a-Chip”. And there is nothing wrong with that. Having also dealt with people selling software development tools, their response would probably be more along the lines of the full hardware board or the electronic product being designed. Finally, having also dealt with large electronic product companies, they would definitively argue that the system is much more than all of the above. An automotive OEM will most likely tell you that the car is the system, a networking company will argue that the system is the network and the multitude of components making it. 

So where am I going with this … When we use the word “systems”, it is important for the electronic product industry and its ecosystem to have an open mind. In particular, when it comes to system-level design, we always need to understand the perspective of the audience. System-level design technology such as virtual platforms should not be considered as a hardware development tools, a firmware development tools, a verification environment or a network simulator. True system-level technology will scale beyond a specific engineering task. It will be an infrastructure throughout the electronic product’s life cycle and across the electronic product supply chain.

So what comes to your mind when you talk about “Systems”?

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