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 Hardware Emulation Journal

Archive for March 31st, 2016

Five Questions about Emulation No One’s Afraid to Ask

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

QuestionsAttending a conference like DVCon offers many benefits, including the opportunity for loads of hallway discussions. I was stopped continuously during DVCon by friends, colleagues and acquaintances all wanting to talk about emulation, which convinced me that it’s the hottest verification tool and topic today.

Here are five of the questions I was asked, along with the answers.

Q1. For many years, emulation has been an exotic and rather expensive tool used in very limited market segments, such as the largest processor and graphics designs. Today, it is used across the board by virtually all semiconductor industry segments. What facilitated this broad adoption?

A1. Significant improvements in the emulation’s hardware and in the supporting software. Perhaps even more significant is a dramatic drop in the cost of ownership (COO). Just consider that on a dollar-per-gate basis, the cost dropped from $5 in the early 90s to less than half a penny now. Add to that the radical enhancement in system reliability, the dramatic improvements in the usage model, the multi-user and remote access capabilities and it’s a COO that is a small fraction of what it used to be a decade ago.
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