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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

ProximusDA & STMicro: distributed SOC TLM VPs

May 23rd, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

ProximusDA has announced it’s working with STMicroelectronics to develop next-gen software virtual prototypes. ProximusDA brings its expertise in parallel-code distribution to the effort and STMicroelectronics knows a bunch about transaction-level modeling and distributed-computing architecture, so the combination’s terrific.

That’s according to ProximusDA CEO Enno Wein: “Our collaboration with ST demonstrates the beneficial synergy between ProximusDA and its customers. The first achievement of the collaboration has been to allow ST to build distributed execution runtime of its SystemC TLM platforms on machines with up to 64 cores.”

So what is it that ProximusDA is providing that ST finds so useful?

It’s a product the company announced last year at DAC, ProximusRealizer, which “allows SOC design customers: a) to capture and execute hardware-independent functional specifications, b) to explore and specify system-level hardware and software architectures, c) to develop embedded software, including mapping and distributed executing and profiling, and d) to do system-level hardware verification and software validation.”

This is pretty powerful stuff, but does it work? Apparently it does, because Laurent Ducousso, STMicro’s Virtual Platform Manager for Unified Platform Division R & D, Digital Convergence Group, is also quoted in the May 23rd Press Release:

“ST has a strong focus on the embedded processing segment as the heart of electronics systems, so we wanted to move our TLM virtual prototyping to the next level of performance in order to stay ahead of the competition. Working with ProximusDA leverages our in-depth SystemC TLM investment and enables accelerated execution speed. With excellent performance results, we are currently integrating ProximusDA technologies into our TLM environment.”

Okay, the gauntlet’s been thrown down: “The next generation of SOCs requires critical attention to the development of the embedded software due to the intrinsic nature of the distributed computing architecture. At the same time, the design of heterogeneous multi-core architectures is demanding massive computing resources to fuel software virtual prototypes.”

If you already know this, or you’re competing with STMicro, or you need to “build high-performance distributed software virtual prototypes, and [want to] enable your hardware and software architects to explore multiple hardware/software trade-offs in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional SystemC (OSCI) transaction-level modeling, and earlier than with FPGA approaches …”

It looks like you should be looking at ProximusDA’s ProximusRealizer. But don’t believe me, or the Press Release for that matter. Come to DAC and speak with folks from ProximusDA.

They’ve “developed a technology to enable the distribution and execution of complex distributed applications over multi-core CPUs and GPUs by leveraging hardware available in today’s off-the-shelf servers,” and if STMicro’s collaborating with them, you should at least be finding out why.

More to follow …

Look for more conversation in the weeks ahead about the realities of a hybrid approach that includes both distributed virtual prototyping and emulation and/or hardware FPGA boards.


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