Posted by Tom De Schutter on April 26, 2015
Almost all electronics devices have some way to connect to other devices. While we don’t really think about it a lot, these interfaces actually have to be quite smart and need to deal with a lot of different device types and/or handle a great deal of data, preferably all while consuming as little power as possible.
As a result, device drivers for this type of interface IP are non-trivial. And because they are a key piece to making an SoC work, these device drivers have to be available early in the SoC design cycle. This is where virtual prototypes come in. They enable device driver development long before hardware is available. Plus, they help accelerate the software development and testing by providing superior debug and tracing, repeatability and scalability.
My colleague Achim Nohl just recorded a webinar on this topic: Accelerate DesignWare IP driver development for ARMv8-based designs with Virtualizer Development Kits.
In the webinar he explains how Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs), software development kits using a virtual prototype as the target, can be used to accelerate driver development for interface IP, more particularly the industry-leading DesignWare Interface IP. The webinar demonstrates how a Synopsys VDK for the ARMv8 Base platform with models representing specific DesignWare Interface IP like USB 3.0/3.1, Ethernet GMAC, Ethernet XG-MAC, PCI Express, UFS, Mobile Storage and so on, enable early and efficient software development for these interfaces.
I highly recommend viewing the recorded webinar presented by Achim Nohl via the provided link above to learn how to maximize the benefits from virtual prototyping through VDKs.
In the meantime we can all continue to benefit from the connectivity that our electronics devices offer. I for one am looking forward to a less frustrating USB connection future with the reversible USB plug (type C USB 3.1 reversible USB cable.)
Not all innovation has to do with software :-).
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.