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Archive for May 3rd, 2010

Celebrating 10 Years of Emulation Leadership

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

            EVE is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  It has been quite a ride for all of us associated with this industry disrupter out of Paris.  Many of the same team from April 2000 are key member of today’s EVE team and wouldn’t have missed any of the excitement these past 10 years.

Exciting, it’s been.  It’s especially gratifying to know that our basic assumptions that served as EVE’s foundation when we started the company have turned out to be right.  I am talking about taking a novel approach to hardware-assisted verification by selecting a commercial FPGA instead of designing a custom ASIC as the building block of the emulator.  Similarly, we prioritized speed of execution to address the hardware/software integration stage of SoC verification.

            As for the rational behind our first criteria, we concluded early on that custom silicon would not scale and would be excessively expensive to adopt to address an overall market in the ballpark of $200 million.  Redesigning a chip every two to three years at smaller and smaller technology nodes would be economically disastrous.  We instead chose the best FPGA on the market and have continued to do so.

            As for the second assumption, we thought that speed of execution should not be compromised, particularly if we wanted to move outside the traditional space of hardware emulation.

            Over time, we have addressed all of the other important parameters that make an emulator a best-in-class tool.  They include fast compilation, thorough design debugging and scalability to accommodate a large spectrum of designs from a few million ASIC gates to one or more billion ASIC gates.  Equally, we have addressed energy efficiency by reducing the emulator’s footprint, energy consumption and air cooling requirements.  We did all of this by devising an architecture that is simple, elegant and efficient, and, even more important, by developing stacks of unique software.

            This focus on off-the-shelf FPGA parts and speed has paid off with installations at nine of the top 10 semiconductor companies and more than 60 customers.  Our hardware emulator ZeBu is used to verify designs of almost every conceivable consumer electronic product.

            The mention of ZeBu brings me to another point about our strategy –– how we came up with ZeBu.  Well, a best-in-class verification tool needs to support a best-in-class design … with zero bugs.  Zero Bugs, ZeBu.  Got it?

            It’s been a heady trip for the entire EVE team.  You’ll forgive us if our sense of pride seems outrageously boastful, but 10 years of solid achievement and growth is no small accomplishment.  We look forward to the years to come confident that we will continue the growth we have enjoyed in the past and today.  And, more important, support current and future design teams with the best-in-class emulation system.  Let’s raise our glasses and toast ZeBu and the team behind it.

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