Posted by Tom De Schutter on December 23, 2015
There is something compelling about arriving at the end of the year and reviewing what happened during the year. In principle nothing is really different and a date is just a date, but we humans created this sense of time through well-defined boundaries of hours, days, months and years and a year-end boundary is an especially big deal. At the end of the year, we like to reflect upon the past year and make resolutions for the new year.
It has been a busy year for virtual prototyping. The Better Software. Faster! Best Practices in Virtual Prototyping book saw another round of printing due to its large popularity, well at least for the semiconductor market, and added a new case study by Kyocera Document Solutions. Chinese users embraced the value of virtual prototyping to achieve the fastest time to quality software. And hybrid prototyping and emulation solutions saw wider adoption in 2015.
As it is common to have top 5/10/100 lists at the end of the year (top 100 songs of the year, top 10 movies of the year…), I decided to do the same for virtual prototyping. And luckily enough we have just the thing through our Better Software. Faster! ebook download survey, which every person who downloads the book answers.
Drum roll for the results…
“What are your biggest software challenges?”
1. Software complexity
2. Late availability of hardware (very close second, almost made it to the top spot)
3. Changing requirements
4. Hardware complexity
5. Limited debug visibility
“What is the most important virtual prototyping benefit?”
1. Earlier software availability
2. Better software quality
3. Software bring-up and debug productivity gain
4. Tighter coordination between hardware and software team
“For which software stacks do you use virtual prototypes?”
5. Boot code
“What is the typical length of a project in your company?”
1. 7-12 months
2. 3-6 months
3. 13-18 months
4. 19-24 months
5. More than 4 years
The results highlight a couple of trends that we see in the industry–software complexity is growing, and project length is shortening. These two don’t go well together and explain why late hardware availability is viewed as such a problem for software developers. So more and more software developers are looking at virtual prototyping to pull in software development and achieve higher software quality, especially for hardware-dependent software stacks.
I expect software content and complexity to continue to grow in the coming years, and as such, there will be a growing need for prototyping to accelerate software development, hardware-software integration and system validation.
But for now, let’s take some time to relax, enjoy the final days of this year and celebrate the new year. Happy Holidays everyone!
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.