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Veloce Power Application Enables Mentor/Ansys Collaboration

Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor
One of the most interesting sessions for me at DAC was the luncheon that described the collaboration between Mentor and Ansys.  In general a large company collaborates with a much smaller one because a key customer requests it and has alternative solution in case the collaboration does not take place.  But Mentor and Ansys have relatively the same amount of yearly revenue, although Ansys is more diversified than Mentor and thus Mentor has greater EDA revenue than Ansys at present.

Power continues to be a primary concern for handheld and smart devices with high resolutions screens that require long battery life, and even wall-plugged equipment in a datacenter or in a network configuration needs to reduce operation costs. Using FinFET process technology reduces static leakage, yet dynamic power remains a challenge.

Since the acquisition of Apache, Ansys has increased its presence in the power analysis and management in the market, an area that is becoming a key part of the vast majority of electronic products.  But engineers could do little during emulation with respect to power analysis.  A new product from Mentor has made possible real-time transfer of power switching activity, via a Dynamic Read Waveform API, to power analysis tools replacing current file-based activity transfer methodology.

A new usage model for handheld and smart devices is driving a methodology shift in the way power is analyzed.  One primary driver in this shift is the fact that complex SoC designs are now verified using live applications that require booting the OS and running software applications on an emulator. It is more effective to use the power switching activity plot, generated during emulation, to pass real-time switching activity information to power analysis tools where potential power issues can be evaluated.

“The Veloce Power Application is a proof point to show that a new methodology that captures real power consumption during emulation and effectively passes that information to power analysis tools is more efficient.” said Eric Selosse, vice president and general manager of the Mentor Emulation Division.

“This collaboration addresses the challenges for designers of energy-efficient IP and SoC designs in various IoT verticals,” said Vic Kulkarni, Sr. vice president and general manager, RTL power business, at Apache division of ANSYS. “With our industry leading PowerArtist solution, we are delighted to be the premier partner in the Veloce Power Application ecosystem, and to work so closely with a technology leader in hardware emulation.”

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