Semtech, a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, reduced their ASIC development time by adopting Model-Based Design (with MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink). Using system models for simulation and automatic HDL generation, Semtech engineers created FPGA prototypes 50% faster, reduced verification time from weeks to days, and shortened development time by 33% compared to their previous hand-coded VHDL methodology.
National Instruments introduced the NI GPS Simulation Toolkit 1.5 for LabVIEW. The toolkit expands the NI RF PXI platform to provide engineers a cost-efficient, high-performance solution for GPS receiver testing that exceeds the capabilities of traditional box instruments. The latest version of the GPS Simulation Toolkit features extended time duration of non-repeating GPS satellite signals and the ability to customise motion profiles for mobile receiver tests. The NI GPS Simulation Toolkit 1.5 for LabVIEW is priced from £3,499 (€4,199).
CoWare and Carbon Design Systems have teamed together to create implementation-accurate models of ARM IP targeted for CoWare’s SystemC-based design solutions. The models and model kits will include implementation-accurate solutions for the ARM Cortex-A9 processor, AMBA3 Interconnect (PL301) matrix, and more. The complete portfolio of Carbonized models and model kits for the CoWare environment will be enhanced to enable the advanced design features of the CoWare solutions and exclusively distributed and supported by CoWare as part of the CoWare IP Model Library.
By Michel Genard
The semiconductor industry has been slowed by the current economic crisis. According to Gartner, worldwide semiconductor revenue growth in 2009 is expected to be 1%, down by approximately 7 percentage points from previous estimates. Even with the very weak economic environment, semiconductor growth was surprisingly strong until recently. However, the industry is changing this quarter. According to Gartner, there is strong evidence to suggest that the semiconductor industry will see negative growth starting in the fourth quarter of 2008, and that this will continue throughout most of 2009.
Virtutech, Inc. recently announced a hybrid simulation capability that supports multiple levels of model abstraction within its Simics simulation environment. The capability provides a fully reversible and deterministic simulation environment for easy experimentation with partitioning, parallelizing and optimizing systems and applications. The first implementation of this capability supports the advanced eight-core QorIQ P4080 processor from Freescale Semiconductor.
The E100 full-spec emulator, from Renesas Technology, improves the system design process by offering enhanced ease of use and performance compared to currently available emulators, while providing advanced debugging capabilities. The development tool directly addresses the need for more efficient debugging environments, a need mandated by the increased functional complexity of MCU-based products and the shorter development cycle characteristic of highly competitive international markets. The E100 works with new and future devices in the M16C, H8SX, H8S, H8, and R8C families of 8- to 32-bit CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) devices and allows real-time in-circuit emulation at bus cycle speeds up to 130MHz.
CoFluent Design recently introduced version 3.0 of CoFluent Studio ESL graphical modeling and simulation framework built on Eclipse technologies. CoFluent Studio V3 leverages the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) and the Ecore standard to define its meta-model format, the internal description of models created by users. The new graphical editor is based on the Eclipse Graphical Modeling Framework (GMF) that manipulates natively Ecore-based meta-models. The entire CoFluent Studio V3 toolset framework is based on Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP), providing optimized and open software architecture. Each tool integrated to the CoFluent Studio RCP framework can become an Eclipse plug-in that any Eclipse workbench user could potentially download and use.
Carbon Design Systems has enhanced its Carbon Model Studio to reduce the time it takes to develop and deploy new system models. Additional capabilities were added to Carbon Model Studio to reduce the debug time and improve the generation of Model Validation components. Carbon Model Studio is shipping now and is available for Solaris and PC platforms running Linux and Windows. Pricing for the complete model-generation and execution solution is “use-model” dependent and starts at $20,000.
RT-LAB Orchestra, from Opal-RT Technologies Inc., is a real-time framework for heterogeneous software co-simulation. RT-LAB Orchestra is currently under evaluation by major automakers and Tier-1 suppliers in Europe, where Opal-RT is operating in partnership with the company’s France-based distributor, B2i Automotive Engineering. The product is also available in North America and Japan.
Successful real-time simulation of complex systems often requires heterogeneous models to be integrated into a single co-simulation environment. These models are often written in different programming languages, or generated by various simulation tools. They may also be developed by different teams, or even by different companies. By facilitating integration and interoperability between disparate co-simulation components, RT-LAB Orchestra enables the engineer to conduct Real-Time co-simulation of virtual vehicles earlier in the design process.
RT-LAB Orchestra includes a library of Matlab/Simulink blocks that are inserted into Simulink models that implement co-simulation components. A C-code API is then used by co-simulation components to exchange data within the RT-LAB framework, while configuration requirements are handled through an XML description file. In addition, a wide variety of model types can be supported including C, Simulink, AMEsim, Dymola, Statemate, and Altia.
RT-LAB Orchestra also enables testing of control models and environment models on the same simulator. These can include such control models as engine control, climate control, lighting control, and door lock controls. Environment models can include engine, driver, and powertrain. RT-LAB Orchestra also allows the user to connect or disconnect modules during a simulation, and provides options for compiling of models on multiple targets, saving the user valuable time.
This means that RT-LAB Orchestra enables a platform for virtual simulation of an entire vehicle, while eliminating concerns related to interaction of diverse models. The end result is increased effectiveness of simulation in the design process, decreased time to market and reduction in overall costs.
More info: Opal-RT Technologies Inc.
The NI LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers is an extension of the LabVIEW graphical system design platform that directly targets the ARM 7, ARM 9 and Cortex-M3 microcontroller families. The LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontrollers features LabVIEW drivers that make it possible for domain experts to graphically program all components of the ARM microcontroller including the analog and digital I/O. The module is priced from $8,999 (€8,599; ¥1,276,000).