Networking SoCs are quickly evolving into some of the largest SoCs designs as the port count is growing to 256, while throughput is reaching more than 24 Terabits per second. In addition, they are increasingly architected to support a new class of workloads for Cloud, 5G, ADAS and AI. In order to achieve this, a modern networking SoC has high complexity with billions of gates and is highly software programmable.
As the complexity increases so does the risk of errors in hardware or software. This risk must be addressed in the pre-silicon stage by running realistic traffic scenarios that explore all critical scenarios that will stress the SoC when deployed in future real-life environments. Not only does more of the validation need to happen pre-silicon, the overall schedule also requires close coordination of SoC verification teams and post-silicon system validation teams.