Synopsys has created a free e-book which explains how to decouple the dependency of software development from hardware availability in product design. Know as “Virtual Prototyping (VP)”, the product, or a sub-set of the overall system, has its behaviors and characteristics modeled as it would operate as a physical entity in the real world.
By simulating the hardware, software developers have a platform to work with rather than waiting for prototype systems to become available. In addition to shortening the overall design, development and testing cycles, Virtual Prototyping allows for rapid iterations of design concepts to refine the product idea.
VP can also be a cost saver in the development process since no actual hardware needs to be produced for the initial software design. Advances in rapid prototyping and 3D printing have reduced the time to generate some portions of the hardware, but it is still much quicker and cheaper to simulate the core electronics and mechanics rather than building prototypes.
In their book, Better Software. Faster! , Synopsys takes a in-depth look at the methodology for concurrent hardware and software development enabled by Virtual Prototyping. Using case studies by Texas Instruments (TI), Siemens. Altera, Renesas, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Bosch, Ricoh, General Motors and others, along with subject matter experts from various disciplines, this book is a practical guide to understanding and implementing Virtual Prototyping in the development process.
The books covers:
- reviewing software development complexities including multicore processors, power tradeoffs and security
- explaining virtual prototyping and its benefits
- illustrating the development and debug processes
- addressing the automotive industry designs
- examining the impact of VP on the electronic supply chain
- explore VP validation using FPGA-based prototypes and emulators
- expert opinions and views from the semiconductor / electronics industry
Synopsys sums it up best:
The contributors of Better Software. Faster! are experts in software development using virtual prototypes and believe that virtual prototyping is vital to the success of today’s embedded software projects. This book is a must-read for anyone responsible for the software development effort in their company and seeking best practices to mitigate aggressive development schedules.
The book is available for download with either your corporate email address or SolvNet ID.
(Image Credit – Synopsys)
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