Thomas L. Anderson, Breker Verification Systems
EETimes (4/7/2014 05:05 PM EDT)
Like many others in the semiconductor industry, I keep an eye on promising technology, which is how I came to track the progress of hardware emulation. It's been a long slog, but an enterprising startup or two -- along with the big three EDA companies -- have managed to do the impossible. Hardware emulation today is a component of almost all verification flows for embedded system-on-chip (SoC) designs; it's used for the toughest verification challenges, including hardware/software integration.
As the verification consultant Lauro Rizzatti pointed out in a blog post last month, the emulation market has grown to $350 million in annual revenue. Its growth has been driven by a variety of confluent factors. Of course, increased design complexity, compounded by the overwhelming presence of embedded software, tops the list, followed closely by verification engineers and project teams having a better understanding of the best applications for hardware emulation. It's fair to note that these applications are increasing, too.
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