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ARM-based FPGA integrates virtual prototyping tech

Posted: 18 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:virtual prototyping? SoC FPGA? multicore platforms?

Synopsys Inc. has announced that its comprehensive Virtual Prototyping Solution is integrated in Altera Corp.'s newly announced SoC FPGA Virtual Target software development platform.

The Virtual Target enables engineers to begin writing software for systems based on Altera's SoC FPGAs months before hardware availability, reducing development time and costs. According to Synopsys, Altera chose to leverage Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution due to its comprehensive and proven technology, highly productive debugging and analysis tools for multicore platforms and broad model portfolio, which includes transaction-level models of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor and Synopsys DesignWare IP.

"Being able to deliver a Virtual Target based on Synopsys' virtual prototyping technology is key to helping our customers address the growing software complexity in their SoC FPGA-based designs," said Vince Hu, vice president of product and corporate marketing, Altera Corporation. "The combination of Altera's innovative SoC FPGA technology and Synopsys' proven modeling tools and expertise enables our customers to start embedded software development earlier and complete it faster. In addition, the unmatched control and visibility of the design afforded by Synopsys' powerful virtual prototyping debug and analysis tools deliver significant productivity advantages to our customers doing multicore design."

By supplying its customers with a SoC FPGA Virtual Target, Altera is delivering significant time and cost savings to software developers, enabling them to debug and fix software defects in a matter of days rather than weeks. In addition, it provides significant productivity increases compared to the use of traditional development platforms such as emulators and hardware simulators. Since the SoC FPGA Virtual Target is binary- and register-compatible with the final SoC FPGA development board that it models, Altera's customers can save software development time and almost eliminate integration time once the SoC FPGA is available. Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution supports commercial and open source debug tools, making it easy for Altera's customers to initiate their software development. Altera's software development teams and partners have already been using the Virtual Target to port operating systems such as Linux and VxWorks as well as develop complex device drivers.

"Virtual prototyping provides significant value to the electronic systems supply chain because it gives both hardware and software developers a common design platform and a head start on software development," said John Koeter, vice president of IP and systems marketing at Synopsys. "By leveraging the same technology that is integrated into Synopsys' Virtual Prototyping Solution, Altera's customers gain access to a proven solution that easily integrates with their existing development flow and enables them to manage the increasing software complexity of multicore SoC FPGA design."

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