A View from the Top: A Virtual Prototyping Blog


What is “Electronic System Virtualization”?

For people interested in electronic system virtualization, the term virtualization itself may be confusing. There is indeed a lot of different use for the term virtualization. The most well-known one being of course the one made famous by the IT community and companies such as VMWare. As to clarify some of the discussion on this blog, let me define what we mean by Electronic System Virtualization.

We have to consider two elements “Electronic System” and “Virtualization”: “Electronic System” refers to electronic products ranging from processor core and chip to hardware boards, devices (for example a mobile phone, a printer, a router, a medical device, …) and even network of devices (for example a car with a network of ECU). As a result “Electronic System Virtualization” is the emulation/simulation of such electronic systems. It should be noted that how the electronic system is virtualized depends on the use one would have to the virtualization technology. For example one could imagine a virtualization enabling interconnect and memory performance optimization where the interconnect and memory subsystem of the hardware will be represented with a high level of accuracy while traffic generators are used as the electronic system test environment. Another one could imagine a virtualization enabling the development of software, which would define the virtualization as a view of the hardware relevant from a programmer’s perspective only. There are many use cases for Electronic System Virtualization and each use may have specific requirement with regard on how it needs to be virtualized.

So why should you care about electronic system virtualization?  Electronic systems complexity is increasing. The costs for defining, developing and deploying such systems have increased significantly. Companies need to have the system right the first time while reducing costs and enabling their go-to-market. “Electronic System Virtualization” provides the infrastructure (tools and methodologies) to address these challenges.

Do you have experience with “Electronic System Virtualization”. Let us know what you think.

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