UltraSoC’s universal SoC debug architecture gains serial comms capabilities

January 22, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
UltraSoC has added to its SoC debug and analytics product with the availability of the Universal Streaming Communicator (USC) that extends the product with off-chip communications via SWD (Serial Wire Debug), Aurora, and fast SerDes

The extended silicon IP allows the UltraSoC intelligent on-chip infrastructure to communicate seamlessly via a broad range of physical media and commonly-used serial communications protocols. This enables silicon development teams to choose exactly the right debug methodology and architecture for any SoC, from cost-sensitive to high performance.

The new USC block enables the UltraSoC infrastructure to communicate with a debug host or other external resource via a range of interfaces. A two-pin port provides an enhanced SWD-style interface which is particularly useful for severely pin-limited SoCs. This is electrically compatible to standard SWD, meaning it can use the same connectors and probes. For less tightly-constrained designs, a three-wire option allows faster full-duplex communication using the same protocols, and a number of other serial modes. A high-speed link that supports AURORA and other SerDes-based connections serves applications that need to move high volumes of debug data very quickly – or chip designs in which SerDes are the only available interfaces. All of these use UltraSoC’s XML-based message procotocol, which is supported by a variety of development and analytic tools.

“We have created a vendor-independent universal SoC debug, performance monitoring and analytics platform,” said Rupert Baines, UltraSoC CEO. “We have an extensive library of modules, giving SoC development teams the flexibility to choose the best tools to address their needs: anywhere on an SoC, across all IP, from all vendors. The core of our offering is the ability to intelligently monitor any on-chip activity and distinguish the critical information, making development more efficient. Having the results easily available over a variety of interfaces is a key strand in our successful strategy to help customers accelerate SoC development, cut costs and eliminate bugs.”

UltraSoC’s vendor-independent technology allows engineering teams to understand what is really happening inside their SoCs, non-intrusively and at wirespeed. The results are accelerated time-to-market, easier detection of bugs, improved performance and reduced power consumption. Serving the trend towards SoCs that