AXYS Design's MaxSim Speeds Up Phonak's Embedded Software Development

5/5/2003 - Phonak AG, a leading provider of hearing aid medical electronics and AXYS® Design Automation, Inc., the technology leader in multi-core System on Chip (SoC) simulation, debugging and verification solutions, announced, that Phonak adopted AXYS Design's MaxSim Developer Suite as development platform for next generation medical electronics in hearing systems. The multi-year agreement also includes professional modeling services using the AXYS MaxCore Developer Suite. Phonak adopted MaxSim for verification of multi-core SoC designs and associated embedded software featuring the XEMICS CoolRISC® processor and Adelante DSP solutions.

"The System-level Virtual Prototypes developed with the MaxSim Developer Suite enabled us to start embedded software verification significantly earlier in the project cycle and to efficiently interact with embedded software developers in the pre-silicon phase", said Patrik Schwarz at Phonak Stäfa. "Fast adoption of MaxSim increasing our productivity was guaranteed by the excellent support of the AXYS team and their models were able to exceed our speed requirements without compromising accuracy."

A phase accurate processor model for the XEMICS CoolRISC processor has been developed using AXYS Design's industry proven MaxCore technology based on the LISA language for instruction set architecture. While exceeding 2 Million cycles per second this model has been verified against the processor HDL on a phase-by-phase basis. After integration with the Adelante DSP solutions and peripherals the MaxSim based system-level virtual prototypes of Phonak's complex hearing systems satisfy typical speed requirements of hardware-aware embedded software designers at multiple hundred thousand cycles per second on industry standard PCs. This performance is achieved using MaxSim Developer Suite's unique combination of cycle based simulation technology and cycle accurate transaction level modeling.

The MaxSim based system-level virtual prototypes are used as both verification reference for the hardware development as well as prototypes enabling hardware-aware embedded software designers to start development and verification at a much earlier point in the project cycle. Compared to traditional design flows relying only on FPGA prototypes, MaxSim generated virtual prototypes offer superior debuggability with unparalleled observability into the details of the hardware. Bus-and memory transaction profiles, cache read/write hits and misses and register views increase design productivity during the verification process. In addition MaxSim generated virtual prototypes can be co-simulated with commercial HDL simulators and can also be easily distributed as standalone MaxSim PlatformsTM, allowing efficient, design chain interaction by making the communication within design teams unambiguous.

"We are pleased to see Phonak a global leader in the development and manufacturing of hearing systems adopt our solutions for their multi-core SOC verification", said Frank Schirrmeister, Vice President of Business Development at AXYS Design Automation. "Breakthrough technologies like Phonak's automatic control systems for hearing aids, that are filter programmable according to the tastes and preferences of each individual wearer, are enabled through the flexibility of embedded software and multi-core SoCs. MaxSim's unique capabilities for verification of multi-core designs and embedded software are a perfect fit to shorten Phonak's overall design cycle."

About MaxSim Developer Suite
MaxSim Developer Suite addresses the needs for efficient model development and delivery between SoC developers and their users. In the design space SoC development teams use the MaxSim Developer Suite to develop, debug and verify cycle-based multi-core systems at the transaction level. In the platform space embedded software developers and verification engineers use standalone platforms exported from MaxSim for hardware-aware embedded software development and verification. At significantly lower price and with more flexible access through quarterly time-based licenses, the MaxSim Platform Control Center allows platform configuration, platform simulation and connection to embedded software debuggers. In addition, MaxSim Platform Explorer enables system-level visibility and debugging within the platform.

About Phonak AG
Phonak is a global leader in the development and manufacture of hearing systems. Using state-of-the art technology, the Swiss-based company strives to produce solutions for adults and children with a hearing loss in the most challenging of listening environments. The ultimate goal of the experts at Phonak is to make a key contribution to the quality of life of those with a hearing impairment, their family and friends.

About AXYS Design Automation, Inc.
AXYS® Design Automation, Inc. is a provider of fast, accurate, and integrated processor and SoC (System-on-Chip) C/C++ modeling and simulation solutions for the development of high software content SoC devices. The use of AXYS Design's tool suites in the pre-silicon phase substantially shortens the SoC design cycle by enabling early system integration and embedded software development, thus reducing NRE cost and time to market.

AXYS Design's customers and partners are companies involved in cutting edge technologies for the electronics industry and include Adelante Technologies, ARC (LSE:ARK), ARM Ltd. (NASDAQ: ARMHY), Conexant Systems (NASDAQ: CNXT), DSP Group (NASDAQ: DSPG), Improv Systems, Infineon Technologies (NYSE: IFX), LSI Logic (NYSE: LSI), Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ: MENT), MIPS Technologies (NASDAQ: MIPS), PANASONIC Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM).

The MaxSimTM Developer Suite is a tool enabling the modeling and verification of multi-core SoC designs. The MaxCore® Developer Suite is a toolset for the automatic generation of processor models and software development tools. MaxLib® is AXYS Design's growing library of models for popular SoC components. For more information, visit the AXYS Design web site at

AXYS, MaxCore and MaxLib are registered trademarks and MaxSim is a trademark of AXYS Design Automation, Inc.

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