Veloce as a critical verification platform
There are four fundamental required emulation platform capabilities: portability, scalability, virtualization, and determinism.
The Veloce emulation platform provides test portability so that verification steps done in simulation can be incorporated into the emulation test sequence – and can be used in post-silicon validation. This saves countless hours of rewriting tests for different platforms.
Scalability deals with the size of designs that can be accommodated. Veloce Strato+ can scale from 40 million gates up to 15 billion gates, allowing a wide range of design sizes. For derivative designs with smaller and larger versions, this provides a single environment for verifying them all.
The virtualization and determinism characteristics are more subtle. They relate to the ability to verify the system with realistic traffic in a way that’s easily debugged.
Given the huge number of modes and configurations in which an ASIC must operate, verification must include access to vast amounts of real-world traffic. There are two approaches to this: in-circuit emulation (ICE) and virtual ICE.
ICE leverages live data from existing ports, like an ethernet connection tied to the internet or a network tester. But the speeds of live data exceed what can be processed by a virtual ASIC that exists only as a design inside a Veloce emulator. Speed bridges are required to deliver that data to the Veloce platform at speeds consistent with the emulation clock rates. Connecting them usually involves physical access to the emulator – a scenario that is becoming less common with private data centers hosting Veloce emulators.