Posted by Tom De Schutter on April 1, 2015
I am writing this blog while traveling though China. In this country of opportunities, new electronics companies show up regularly and some of them are quickly growing to become leaders in their application domain. Of course it helps if your local market is as big, if not bigger, than the U.S. and European market combined.
The advantage of being a fast follower is that you can learn from the technology leader and adjust based on what worked well and what didn’t work well before. And one thing that these new Chinese semiconductor companies have quickly realized is the importance of software—especially the importance of starting software development early and adjusting hardware to the software needs rather than the other way around.
To achieve this, these Chinese semiconductor companies understand the value of virtual prototyping to achieve the fastest time to quality software. And this value is really achieved in two ways: starting early and the ability to achieve higher productivity. This week I had a discussion with a customer who praised the value of virtual prototyping post-silicon, pointing to determinism, debug control and visibility and software testing capabilities as key characteristics that extend the usefulness of virtual prototypes even when hardware-based alternatives are available.
Now, it is clear that even in these relatively new companies, where it should be easier to introduce new methodologies, there are some adjustment pains in fully embracing virtual prototyping for software development. Most notably the creation of a modeling team, and scaling that team to meet the software development requirement, is still too much of an afterthought. So in a lot of cases these companies are asking us to help them ramp up and complement their modeling expertise. But as we’ve seen in other technology areas, Chinese customers catch up quickly and their virtual prototyping modeling teams are growing at rates that not a lot of other companies have matched in the past.
So expect to see a lot more Chinese-based electronics products, such as mobile phones and tablets, soon. I plan to visit China much more frequently and continue to spark the virtual prototyping revolution.
Patrick Sheridan is responsible for Synopsys' system-level solution for virtual prototyping. In addition to his responsibilities at Synopsys, from 2005 through 2011 he served as the Executive Director of the Open SystemC Initiative (now part of the Accellera Systems Initiative). Mr. Sheridan has 30 years of experience in the marketing and business development of high technology hardware and software products for Silicon Valley companies.
Malte Doerper is responsible for driving the software oriented virtual prototyping business at Synopsys. Today he is based in Mountain View, California. Malte also spent over 7 years in Tokyo, Japan, where he led the customer facing program management practice for the Synopsys system-level products. Malte has over 12 years’ experiences in all aspects of system-level design ranging from research, engineering, product management and business development. Malte joined Synopsys through the CoWare acquisition, before CoWare he worked as researcher at the Institute for Integrated Signal Processing Systems at the Aachen University of Technology, Germany.
Tom De Schutter
Tom De Schutter is responsible for driving the physical prototyping business at Synopsys. He joined Synopsys through the acquisition of CoWare where he was the product marketing manager for transaction-level models. Tom has over 10 years of experience in system-level design through different marketing and engineering roles. Before joining the marketing team he led the transaction-level modeling team at CoWare.