By Troy Scott, Product Marketing Manager, FPGA-based prototyping software
FPGA-based prototypes have become a mainstream part of the systems-on-chip (SoC) design process and are now synonymous with the system validation phase of design. SoC prototyping methodologies and the application of FPGA ICs for system validation have emerged due to the changing nature of SoC development costs and the design challenges facing engineering teams. The first issue is the changing economics of chip design where the relative cost of software engineering is outpacing hardware engineering cost with each major IC process node. At the 22/20nm node, software now represents the bulk of development cost for an engineering organization. This shifting emphasis to software is driving design teams to begin software development design phase as soon as possible to maximize the number of features that can be delivered with high quality.