CircuitSutra Technologies: Redefining the Simulation Modeling Methodologies
Driven by the market’s huge demand for functionality, performance, and bandwidth, today, semiconductor companies are on a race to pack as much capability as possible into their IC designs. Modern-day SoC designs contain multiple heterogeneous processors, on-chip buses and caches, custom-designed hardware accelerators, and peripheral control devices. Given this level of complexity, it is apparent that the traditional register-transfer level (RTL) based design and verification methodologies is no longer enough to support these intricate SoC designs. The RTL models take considerable effort to develop, have slow simulation speeds, and are not available early in the design flow to enable activities such as architectural exploration or early hardware/software integration. “This is where India-based CircuitSutra Technologies steps in with a mission to address the limitations of RTL modeling methodologies,” states the company’s president and CEO, Umesh Sisodia.
CircuitSutra is ushering a revolution in the semiconductor industry by enabling customers to adopt an advanced electronic system level (ESL) design methodologies based on SystemC. Leveraging ESL methodologies not only helps semiconductor companies reduce the time to market for their products, but also aids in designing products that are better optimized for power, performance, and cost. “We aim to be the catalyst for accelerated adoption of ESL methodologies,” says Sisodia.
When it comes to large-scale adoption of the ESL methodology, one of the challenges in the industry, as Sisodia points out, is the paucity of resources with the right kind of skills. “Many SystemC professionals in the industry are not necessarily C++ experts,” Sisodia affirms.
We aim to be the catalyst behind the accelerated adoption of ESL methodologies
Furthermore, in contrast to traditional linear business models, CircuitSutra employs a shift left philosophy. “Our shift left approach is an effort to coordinate the co-development of platform hardware and software. It ensures that all the critical code needed to make the product viable for customers is designed and tested in the first go, thus making the process faster,” remarks Sisodia. CircuitSutra is also deploying a new standard ‘Portable Stimulus’ to define the verification flows that can scale all the way from System to SoC to IP level, and also work across multiple implementations, i.e., C models, RTL models, FPGA /Emulators and Hybrids, etcetera.
These simulation methodologies are going to play an important role in the emerging trends in the semiconductor industry. A specialized SoC for deep learning and artificial intelligence is one such emerging trend. Risc-V, an open source instruction set architecture is enabling a new era of processor innovation. Initial trends indicate that Risc-V will replace the proprietary processor architectures for the minion cores and co-processors. In the long term, it may find its way to become one of the mainstream alternatives. CircuitSutra is in the process of fine-tuning its modeling methodologies for these areas.
The company’s approaches have brought umpteen recognitions to CircuitSutra. Today, CircuitSutra’s clientele includes some of the top names in the semiconductor and electronic system realm. Sisodia believes the opportunity for CircuitSutra in the simulation industry is immense. Moving ahead, “We are poised to explore and experiment with new ideas and approaches that can redefine the simulation market worldwide,” he concludes.