Synopsys unveils unified emulation and prototyping system

2 mins read

Synopsys has announced the first unified hardware system for emulation and prototyping based on its ZeBu EP1 emulation system.

By adding prototyping functionality to Synopsys ZeBu EP1, customers will now be able to take advantage of a single verification hardware system throughout their chip development lifecycle.

"As software content and hardware complexity keep growing, SoC design teams are consistently looking for more and faster emulation and prototyping capacity to achieve their hardware verification and software development goals," said Rohit Vora, senior vice president of R&D in the Systems Design Group at Synopsys.

"The Synopsys ZeBu EP1 system represents a major innovation in verification hardware by providing a single system supporting both emulation and prototyping with higher performance and faster emulation compile time. With Synopsys ZeBu EP1 system, industry-leading companies have achieved 19-MHz emulation and 100-MHz prototyping clock performance, enabling them to run large amounts of software pre-silicon and accelerate project schedules."

Hardware verification teams use emulation systems for faster SoC design verification, while software development teams need the additional performance that can be achieved with prototyping technology.

However, it has been challenging for chip and system development teams to determine upfront the optimal balance of emulation and prototyping hardware capacity. According to Synopsys the new ZeBu EP1 system will free teams from the constraints of fixed hardware, allowing their verification and software development requirements to drive how and when to shift capacity between emulation and prototyping, rather than having to estimate early on how much of each resource might be needed.

The unified hardware system has been designed to provide an easy-to-bring-up emulation flow with high performance and support for full debug visibility.

Verification and software teams will be able to validate designs against real-world interfaces at the highest possible performance using the prototyping flow of the ZeBu EP1 system. The unified hardware also benefits from Synopsys' new compile technology to reduce turnaround time by up to 3x compared to the previous generation's compile technology.

Synopsys protocol solutions for ZeBu EP1 offer a wide range of connectivity options to enable execution of complex software stacks and support many advanced interface protocols, such as PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0/6.0, USB 4, HBM3 and Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) through:

  • At-speed connectivity with protocol interface cards
  • Transactors, including virtual testers for virtual interface connectivity
  • Speed adapters for in-circuit emulation
  • Synopsys IP Prototyping Kits, for fast IP integration, software development and system validation

In combination with the Synopsys Virtualizer virtual prototyping tool, software developers will have access to a fast hardware target for their software development and testing using unified hardware for hybrid emulation and prototyping.