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ARM to Offer Cycle-Accurate Virtual Prototyping for Complex SoCs

ARM has acquired the product portfolio and other business assets of Carbon Design Systems (Carbon), a leading supplier of cycle-accurate virtual prototyping solutions, to deliver design optimization, time-to-market and cost-efficiency gains for its partners. As part of this acquisition, Carbon’s staff will transfer to ARM.

This combination of assets and expertise will significantly enhance ARM’s capability in system-on-chip (SoC) architectural exploration, system analysis and software bring-up. It will also enable earlier availability of cycle-accurate models for future ARM® processors and ARM-based systems. The acquisition terms have not been disclosed.

“Early stage virtual prototyping of complex SoCs is now mandatory for leading silicon vendors, as demonstrated by the success of ARM Fast Models,” said Hobson Bullman, general manager, development solutions group, ARM. “The integration of Carbon’s virtual prototyping products into the ARM portfolio will deliver access to ARM IP earlier in the design cycle. This builds on the current industry leading solutions to enable further design optimization, time-to-market and cost-efficiency gains for our partners.”

Carbon has created a comprehensive library of ARM processor and system models that can be extended easily to create cycle-accurate virtual prototypes of any new ARM-based SoC. The technology relies on RTL compilation, to ensure perfect functional and cycle accuracy. This is essential when evaluating target benchmark performance in the earliest stages of SoC design.

In future, Carbon products will be marketed as ARM Cycle Models and will remain available from ARM IP Exchange. ARM will also continue to offer Carbon’s solutions for model generation and SoC analysis. The company, which is based in Massachusetts, US, already works with the world’s leading semiconductor vendors, all of whom license ARM processor IP.

“Early analysis of system-level performance and power is critical in multicore ARM-based SoC architectures,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing, IP and prototyping, Synopsys. “We look forward to expanding our successful virtual prototyping collaboration with ARM by combining ARM Cycle Models with Synopsys Platform Architect™ MCO’s leading architecture analysis technology so our mutual customers can get to the best architecture sooner while avoiding costly over-design.”

“Our use of system modeling technologies from Carbon Design Systems has been constantly expanding over the past several years,” said Yanqiu Diao, deputy general manager, Turing Processor business unit at Huawei. “We are very pleased by ARM’s investment in the Carbon business and look forward to using their system solutions in our future advanced SoC projects.”

“ARM and Cadence have together brought innovation and efficiency to early OS bring-up, software driven verification and interconnect performance analysis by connecting ARM Fast Models and ARM Interconnect IP to the Cadence Palladium Emulation platform and Interconnect Workbench,” said Ziv Binyamini, corporate vice president of Advanced Verification Solutions, System and Verification Group at Cadence. “We are looking forward to expanding our collaboration further into cycle-accurate virtual prototyping and performance analysis, to jointly help customers achieve their performance and time-to-market targets.”

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