FPGA prototyping and ASIC emulation / prototyping by Hardent allows you to reduce risks and speed up your ASIC development.
FPGA prototyping (also called ASIC prototyping or ASIC emulation) consists of implementing a portion or the totality of an ASIC design into an FPGA in order to validate its functionality. This operation is particularly interesting for targeting features that are either critical or unable to be verified using simulation.
With the high non-recurring cost of manufacturing an ASIC, revising an ASIC to fix broken functionality is a very costly process. Although good verification practices using recent simulation tools and methodologies can mitigate the risks of bugs passing through, functional verification does have some limitations.
Some of these limitations are:
- Very long computation time for a relatively short simulation time
- Possibility of errors in the verification environment
- Difficulty in recreating specific operating conditions in simulation, mainly when they involve:
- A sequence of events that span over a long period of time
- Certain timing relations between different systems
- Infrequent events
- Interactions with software / embedded processors
- Operating systems
One way to overcome some of these limitations is to create a low-cost prototype of the entire ASIC under development, or some subsystems of the ASIC, and exercise its functionalities before entering the manufacturing process. Using commercially available FPGA-based platforms, it is possible to create such prototypes.
The advantages of ASIC emulation and FPGA prototyping are numerous.
FPGA prototyping and ASIC emulation:
- Permits the testing of real-life scenarios that are too long to simulate
- Increases confidence that the ASIC will perform as expected
- Provides a platform for drivers and software
developers to test their code long before the ASIC is available
- Speeds up the testing of the ASIC after manufacture since the test setup can be developed and tried beforehand
- Reduces overall time-to-market
Hardent’s team of specialists can guide you through the process of ASIC prototyping, including platform selection and adaptation of your ASIC-targeted RTL into FPGA-compatible RTL (memories migration, clocks handling, etc.).
Interested in finding out more about the benefits of ASIC emulation or FPGA prototyping?
Get in touch with our FPGA prototyping and ASIC emulation team.