DAC’s coming and, at EVE, we’re thinking about the evolution of emulation, a theme that you’ll hear more about from us. It’s been fascinating to look at how emulation has evolved from high-priced, hard-to-use clunkers introduced in the 1980s to sleek, low-cost hardware-assisted verification solutions that execute at high speeds.
At $1 million per seat, those early emulators were available to only the largest companies doing the most complicated designs. Cost alone prevented widespread deployment, and they quickly became outdated as new process technologies emerged, quashing their practicality and curbing accuracy. The maximum speed was about one MHz, slow even then, and they were roundly criticized for being difficult to set up. The designer’s lament was the excessive time to emulation.