Move to Datacenter Pushes Emulation Market to New Heights

Pubblicato il 24 aprile 2014

The trend in emulation is to include the emulator in a datacenter or enterprise computing environment.  Mentor has led the way on this for a while, starting with the announcement two years ago of its VirtuaLAB software, probably the first step to moving emulation to the data center. Looking forward, Veloce is improving on the concept, promising to consolidate various emulation resources into one global entity.


Gary Smith EDA shows a continuum of actual (2011- 2012) and estimated (2013-2017) hardware emulation growth

Benefits of this consolidation include offering things like PSL/SystemVerilog assertions, functional coverage, and UPF for low power. The virtualization of the emulation environment addresses the explosive grow of performance needs for verification.

The emulation business will grow significantly as these data centers are set up and used by very large companies or shared by multiple companies, or even accessed on a virtual basis in a pay for time scenario. Instead of the traditional image of emulation as a big box with limited users, we will see server farms and billion-dollar plus levels of business.

Gary Smith EDA, the leading provider of market intelligence and advisory services for global Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Electronic System Level (ESL) design, agrees. He forecasts hardware emulation growth of about 25% a year until 2017, anticipating a total market size of nearly $1 billion by 2017, as illustrated in the following chart:

By going forward in this fashion, there seems to be no limit to the transition to emulation in the industry. We expect revenue to grow at a healthy rate in the upcoming fiscal 2015. And we expect the number of companies wanting to adopt emulation will continue to increase because it’s driven by the complexity of chips, and chip complexity always increases.

Furthermore, we are seeing major orders from people we’ve never done business with before. System companies are adopting and becoming a bigger percentage of the emulation market. These aren’t the traditional customers for IC design, and yet they have now become emulation users. As far as the existing emulation users, there seems to be no limit to their appetite for more emulation. Once they do a chip with emulation, the engineers become dependent upon it, and they want more of the kind of verification only emulation has the speed and capacity to provide.

All of these forces are moving emulation into the mainstream of system-level design where it will soon come to be seen as an indispensable tool for a large pool of users.

In the picture: Gabiele Pulini, product marketing manager in the Mentor Graphics Emulation Division

Gabriele Pulini

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