Mentor Graphics Veloce Power Application Redefines Power Analysis Flow

A complete solution that enables a new comprehensive methodology for power

Corporation (MENT) today released the Veloce® Power Application that enables accurate, timely and efficient power analysis at the system, RTL and gate level for complex SoC designs.

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.

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 ITRS report, one of my many primary research projects, has emphasized the issues related to dynamic power for several years," said Gary Smith, founder and chief analyst, Gary Smith . "A new approach to the transfer of power switching activity data captured during emulation is the right direction for the industry."

When designs with significant software content are run on an emulator, the current method of generating activity data creates files (like FSDB) that are too large for power analysis tools to handle practically.

The Veloce Power Application replaces the file-based power analysis flow with a Dynamic Read Waveform API integration to power analysis tools. This Dynamic Read Waveform API approach captures the information from the power switching activity plot and transfers that data to power analysis tools. This enables accurate power calculation at the system level, better power exploration at RTL for power budgeting and tradeoffs as well as more accurate power analysis and sign-off at the gate level.

The result is a significant boost in runtime and performance. The typical approach of running the emulator, creating the file, reading the file into the power analysis tool and running the power analysis tool is now, with this new approach, reduced to the emulator and power analysis runtimes.

Current early access partners and customers have seen up to a 4.5X runtime performance improvement.

"Today we have redefined the power analysis flow," said Eric Selosse, vice president and general manager of the Mentor Emulation Division. "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."

Delivering this integration with an ecosystem of industry-recognized power analysis tool providers is essential to redefining the power analysis flow. The first Veloce Power Application ecosystem partner is ANSYS® with PowerArtist™.

"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."

The Veloce Power Application integration with ANSYS PowerArtist is available to mutual customers on a limited basis. Full production release is scheduled for early Q4/CY 2015.

About the Veloce Emulation platform

The Veloce emulation platform is a core technology in the Mentor® Enterprise Verification Platform (EVP) – a platform that boosts productivity in ASIC and SoC functional verification by combining advanced verification technologies in a comprehensive platform.

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronic, semiconductor and systems companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues in the last fiscal year in excess of $1.24 billion. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. World Wide Web site: www.mentor.com/.

Topics covered in this article