By Allen Watson, Product Marketing Manager, ARC Development Tools, Systems and Ecosystem, Synopsys
The cost of developing system-on-chip (SoC) silicon increases with each new process node, and the cost of developing the software for SoCs is often greater than the cost of the IC design1. Therefore, it is increasingly important that the software development tasks are started early and that the work is done efficiently. There are multiple options open to the developer, including using virtual platforms, emulators or FPGA prototyping systems as part of the software development process. One or more of these options may have to be utilized. Synopsys offers these types of solutions to its customers with products such as Synopsys’ Virtualizer™, the ZeBu® Emulators and the HAPS® FPGA Prototyping Solution.
Traditionally, processor IP vendors have offered processor-specific development systems that are optimized for the development of software on the vendor’s processor cores. In the case of the DesignWare® ARC® Processors, Synopsys provides a number of development systems designed to enable software development to start early and to improve the productivity of the software development tasks. The latest systems, the ARC Software Development Platforms, are designed to allow software engineers to get started with ARC software development very quickly by including everything needed to begin coding right away. In defining these systems, Synopsys needed to determine what the most important considerations for its customers would be. In this article, we will describe the top five most important features to consider when selecting a solution to help you choose the right software development platform for your next project.