Semiconductor IP News and Trends Blog
IoT Drives Surprising ASIC Prototyping Growth
Solid state drive (SSD) chip complexity and embedded software for Internet of Things (IoT) cloud data renews need for prototyping platforms.
By John Blyler, Editorial Director, IP Systems
IoT market is set to explode in the industrial, medical, automotive and eventually the consumer spaces. It will generate little data at the edge nodes that will quickly grow to really big data on the cloud. This little-big data paradigm -borrowing a term from ARM – may be a good analogy for the dollar flow as well.
Juergen Jaeger, Senior Manager of Product Management at Cadence, is seeing strong growth in cloud related spaces. The growth has prompted a surge in FPGA-based ASIC prototyping tools in the memory SSD and storage spaces. He notes that this is a fairly recent phenomena but not unexpected. Today’s SSD technology is complex enough to require leading edge, multicore technology. While not an electromechanical system like traditional hard drives, SSD are susceptible to the limited lifespan of the flash cells. This means that the SSD controller must constantly measure the integrity of all the cells and recover-shift data when the cells fail.
Adding to the challenge is the inclusion of embedded software and firmware, and this is where FPGA-based prototyping shines: it allows to validate the whole system consisting of drive controller ASIC, the storage media itself (e.g. SSD) and the embedded software/firmware, at a performance that enables to run large amounts of real data through the system. Combining hardware and software into the prototyping solution is never easy though, and requires a well thought out approach and the right tools in the form of a prototyping hardware platform and tightly integrated implementation software.
Sidenote: I’ll be speaking the upcoming Cadence “Lunch & Learn” about trends in the validation of embedded software on real time hardware. If you developed ASIC prototypes, then you might find this half-day course of value. For details, please visit the site