Dolphin Integration (Meylan, France)< /A>. "We treat the target as an SoC, not as a microcontroller, so now it is hierarchical, with one FPGA emulating the core, one providing the tracing function and the peripherals emulated on a breadboard."
The Flip8051 was developed by Richard Watts Associates Ltd. (Leighton Buzzard, England) and was acquired by Dolphin in August 1999.
Using FPGAs and FPGA arrays in emulators is not uncommon, though it usually involves a reduction in emulation speed.
"We believe we can get to the largest part of the market with this. The interaction between CPU and peripherals is not that high," said Depeyrot.
Dolphin and Raisonance (Grenoble, France) have also patented a form of lockable debug interface intended to prevent piracy of ROM code or design data through the emulation port that is usually present even in packaged systems.
The patented system lets the program developer authoriz e memory read or write operations on either data memory or program memory embedded with any microprocessor in a system-level chip, Dolphin claims. The protection mechanism is generally applicable to any processor core and to any serial or parallel debug interface, whether wired or wireless.
"The threat comes from the capability to link an emulator by RF; to perform downloading and uploading from and to information appliances. The patent works by having an access code. It's a software-controlled hardware for locking the system, so you control who uses the interface," said Depeyrot. "It's a general-purpose interface, but we are applying it to the JTAG debugging interface. Other people can use it, but they will have to license it from us."