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Speed enhancements for Model Tech upgrades

Posted: 15 Apr 2001 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vhdl? modelsim? simulator? rtl? verilog?

Mentor Graphics company Model Technology Inc.(MTI) has upgraded its ModelSim simulation lineup, promising faster performance, better memory use, new interactive debug features and improved testbench and regression test support.

As in virtually all simulation upgrades, the primary focus of release 5.5 was speed, said John Lenyo, director of marketing at MTI. "We have improved VHDL and Verilog RTL performance by 2x over the previous version of the tool and improved gate-level performance by 2x to 4x," he said. "We have really worked on memory utilization so now you can get very large designs running on a single workstation." Lenyo said the same memory footprint shrink and performance improvements also mean that MTI users can double server-farm performance.

In addition to increasing, the company has also simplified regression test and debugging. Lenyo said a new feature, Waveform Compare, lets users compare the simulation they are currently working with to a reference logfile or datasheet. "You can compare data sheets to live simulations or compare two data sheets," said Lenyo.

He said users can review the files in customizable wave and list windows and generate a text file of the results in the main window. The tool also has a new value change dump (VCD) to .wlf file converter. The 5.5 release also boasts waveform file compression, absent in the previous version. "Designs are getting huge and simply scrolling down a simulation took quite a bit of time," said Lenyo. "The compression speeds up scrolling as well as loading files."

Signal monitoring

Another new feature, Signal Spy lets MTI users probe VHDL and mixed-language hierarchies. Lenyo said that allows users to monitor a signal at any point in the simulation and incorporate it into a testbench without modifying the HDL code.

"In VHDL you just do not have access to every signal in a design like you do in Verilog," said Lenyo. "Now you have the same capability in VHDL that you have in Verilog and VHDL." The tool also has an FPGA Library Wizard that users can invoke to install FPGA vendor libraries for ModelSim.

A perpetual license for ModelSim Edition (PE) starts at $4,000 and the Special Edition (SE) starts at $19,000 for the Version 5.5. Waveform Compare is a free feature for SE users. Modelsim PE users can license the feature for $1,500. SE users will receive all performance and other upgrades in the 5.5 package, while PE users will receive most of the features depending on the status of their maintenance agreements.

? Michael Santarini

CMP Media

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