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Virtual Prototype Collaboration

Virtual Prototype Collaboration
by Daniel Payne on 05-20-2014 at 9:01 am

The concept and use of virtual prototypes continues to grow each year in electronics design, mostly because it really does shorten product development cycles by allowing software engineers to start early debug and fix errors prior to production. Other useful benefits to virtual prototyping include software optimization, analyzing system performance, even quicker firmware and driver development. To make virtual prototyping actually work you really need some tight collaboration between EDA and IP companies so that the models of processor cores and other IP are fast, accurate and simulate within your preferred EDA tool environment.

ARMcontinues to dominate the IP world of processor cores, so it’s good news to hear that Carbon Design Systemswill be continuing their IP modeling agreement with ARM. These two vendors have been working closely together since 2008. Engineers at Carbon start with the RTL code from ARM cores and then create the models needed for virtual prototypes.

You could measure success by the adoption rate, and since 2011 the users of Carbon have built 5,000+ ARM models. To do the software optimization, performance analysis and develop firmware and driver code you download a Carbon Performance Analysis Kit (CPAK). Carbon has an IP exchange web page that lists all of their support for ARM cores and peripherals:

  • Cortex A Series Processors

    • Cortex A15
    • Cortex A5
    • Cortex A53
    • Cortex A57
    • Cortex A7
    • Cortex A8
    • Cortex A9
  • Cortex M Series Processors

    • Cortex M0
    • Cortex M0+
    • Cortex M3
    • Cortex M4
  • Cortex R Series Processors

    • Cortex R4
    • Cortex R5
    • Cortex R7
  • ARM11 Processors

    • ARM11 MPCore
    • ARM1136
    • ARM1176
  • ARM9 Processors

    • ARM926
    • ARM946
    • ARM968
  • ARM7 Processors

    • ARM7TDMI-S
  • AMBA Controllers and Peripherals

    • ADB-400
    • BP010
    • BP141
    • BP147
    • CCI-400
    • DMC-400
    • GIC-400
    • L220
    • L2C-310
    • MMU-400

Carbon in 2013

It looks like the team at Carbon has found their place in the EDA world because in 2013 they had their seventh year in a row for growth, although as a private company we don’t have the absolute financial numbers we do know that last year they had a 46% increase in bookings. In 2014 we can expect an increased use of CPAKs for ARM IP and new products from the Samsung partnership.


Virtual prototyping is a proven methodology and it always requires collaboration between IP and EDA vendors. I’m planning on visiting Carbon at DAC in June to get an update, they’ll be at booth #1815 and also part of the ARM Connected Community Pavilion at booth #2001.

lang: en_US

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