Despite the global challenges, we have all faced in 2020, Arm and Cadence have continued to deliver leading-edge solutions to our partners, enabling ever more innovative Arm-based designs, servicing the needs of markets from the most resource constrained to the cloud. With remote working becoming the norm, the ability to remain productive without all the resources you may have in an office environment has become more important than ever before. It is key to have a robust development environment that can be self-hosted locally or where necessary, with easy remote connection to emulation or FPGA platforms in your office or development lab.
In this blog, we highlight the solutions that Arm and Cadence provide to enhance the developer experience, what is known as a shift-left of the development cycle. Early software development improves developer's efficiency, and the always important time-to-market.
Through virtual prototypes, software development can begin in earnest far before the final RTL design, and can also be built up in stages as the overall system architecture gets defined and finalized. Arm Fast Models are accurate, flexible programmer's view models of Arm IP. Cadence has integrated the Arm models into their Virtual System Platform solution, allowing users to build a complete simulation of their final design.The modular nature of the technology allows you to easily make changes to the virtual platform as needed, allowing you to compare performance of different IP blocks or configurations with your real-world code. Another trend we are seeing is the deployment of virtual prototypes as test platforms within automated continuous integration setups, made possible by the fidelity of the models.
The virtual prototypes can also be used in conjunction with RTL emulation of users own IP and system design. This hybrid solution maximises the usage of your emulation resources, enables earlier software development with the platform, and with execution speed increased up to 60x, enables more thorough and efficient validation.
For a deeper look at virtual prototyping and its use cases, see this free whitepaper authored by Arm.
With Arm Development Studio, teams can ensure a common environment throughout the design cycle. The Arm Debugger provides an easy to use, feature rich debugging experience for even the latest Arm processors. There is full support for the latest Iris debug interface, also integrated into Fast Models. One the many benefits this interface provides is the ability to easily connect to virtual platforms running remotely. The Debug Probe API has been used to implement out-of-the-box support for the Cadence Virtual debug interface. This interface allows users to connect to a full design on Cadence Palladium without the need for any additional hardware. It allows for multiple remote users to debug their code concurrently. Target setup in the debugger is easy with a dedicated GUI for configuration, and allows for JTAG or SWD virtual interfaces.
Latter development stages like the hardware prototyping on FPGA, and ultimately final silicon is supported by the high-performance DSTREAM debug probes. The high-speed debug (up to 180MHz JTAG) and high-bandwidth trace capabilities brings the solution for developing complex modern designs.
A common debugger for all targets is more than just a cost saving benefit, but also greatly improves internal efficiency and communication, another major challenge in this era of remote work.
Want the best performing code? Development Studio also includes the industry-leading Arm Compiler 6, generating highly optimized code for all Arm processors. For more information on the latest features of Development Studio, see this article.
Arm is a platinum sponsor of the now virtual CadenceLIVE 2020, and shall be presenting on a number of topics throughout the event. To find out more on the topics discussed in this blog, we invite you to attend Productive Design: Hardware and Software Co-Verification with Virtual Debugging from Simulation to Prototyping, scheduled to be broadcast live at 1400 PST on August 11, as well as the other Arm presentations and our virtual booth. We look forward to (virtually) seeing you there.
Visit Arm at Cadence Live 2020