Virtual system prototypes can result in better products, shorter development times, and lower development costsBy Graham Hellestrand, Founder, CTO, and Strategy Officer, VaST Systems Technology
In the first part
of this series, we highlighted trends in embedded system design and explained the shortcomings of conventional design and verification techniques. In this article, we present and discuss the concept of architecture-driven design using virtual system prototypes.
Virtual system prototypes
A virtual system prototype is a type of electronic systems level (ESL) model that can be thought of as a hybrid between an RTL model and an ISS model. (See part 1 for descriptions of RTL and ISS models.) Like an RTL model, a virtual system prototype is cycle-accurate and can be used to simulate and develop hardware. However, a virtual system prototype is based on software simulation, like an ISS model, and simulates at speeds suitable for software development. A virtual system prototype can be used to represent portions of an embedded system or the entire system. Virtual prototype environments are available from companies such as VaST Systems Technology (www.VaSTsystems.com), Synopsys (www.Synopsys.com), and ARM (www.ARM.com).
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