Helium Studio tools accelerate virtual and hybrid prototype modelling

Pre-silicon software validation in virtual and hybrid configurations for 5G, mobile, automotive and hyperscale markets is supported with Helium Virtual and Hybrid Studio from Cadence.

Helium Studio allows designers to build virtual and hybrid SoC models. It enables early software bring-up for hardware-software co-verification and co-debug. It provides support for platform assembly, enables the creation and debug of virtual models and offers a rich library of pre-built virtual models and hybrid adapters. According to Cadence, verification with a virtual or hybrid model of the SoC is orders of magnitude faster than verification with a pure RTL model and it also enables early software bring-up before the RTL is available.

It can natively integrate with the Cadence verification engines, including the Palladium Z2 Enterprise Emulation Platform, the Protium X2 Enterprise Prototyping Platform and Xcelium Logic Simulator. As a result, system development is quicker because embedded software / firmware is verified on pure virtual and hybrid configurations even when the RTL is not ready.

A platform can be created using GUI-based assembly, enabling early software bring-up. Once assembled, the virtual studio can be used to execute and debug the software stack and the hardware design.

Designers can also create hybrid configurations quickly using a library of hybrid adapters, transactors and smart memory that optimise communication channels for maximum throughput and are natively integrated in the Palladium and Protium platforms. Gearshift technology has been introduced to allow users to hot-swap software bring-up from virtual to RTL, for high speed, high accuracy, says Cadence.

There is also a comprehensive virtual model library featuring the latest Arm technology model portfolio, including support for Armv9-A, in which designers can access multiple reference and starter virtual and hybrid platforms that are ready to boot on the latest Linux and Android operating systems.

Uniform and comprehensive multi-core, multi-process debug of embedded software allows greater control and visibility into the software by using a single debugger that works with software running on virtual platforms and RTL platforms simultaneously. The native integration of the software engine with the virtual and RTL runtime engines enables synchronised hardware-software debug.

The Helium Virtual and Hybrid Studio is part of the Cadence verification full flow, which includes Palladium Z2 emulation, Protium X2 prototyping, Xcelium simulation, the JasperGold Formal Verification Platform, and the vManager Verification Management platform. The Cadence verification full flow delivers the highest verification throughput of bugs per dollar invested per day of schedule, claims the company.


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