Universal SoC debug environment out of UltraSoC/Lauterbach co-operation

February 18, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Enabling vendor-independent debug within an industry standard toolchain, a collaboration between UltraSoC (Cambridge, UK) and Lauterbach (Hoehenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn) creates what the partners describe as the “most powerful, fully-featured independent system-on-chip (SoC) development and debug environment.”

The partnership brings together Lauterbach’s TRACE32 integrated, universal development system and UltraSoC’s on-chip debug and analytics IP, to ease the work of engineering teams creating advanced SoCs. Such ICs are constructed from many different functional blocks, mixing purchased processor cores, IP re-used from previous designs, and custom logic developed by the design team itself; they also run substantial amounts of software. This complexity makes it very difficult to understand the behaviour of the complete system when it is finally assembled – even for the engineers who designed and developed it. This in turn can lead to chips that do not deliver the expected performance, or contain hard-to-find bug.

TRACE32 is a set of modular embedded development tools with integrated debug environments that support all of the processor architectures in common use. UltraSoC’s IP works inside the SoC itself, monitoring and analysing the real-world behaviour of any on-chip structure – and the device as a whole – non-intrusively and at wire speed. Together, TRACE32 and UltraSoC’s IP give design teams complete visibility of the real-world behaviour of their devices – vital in the debugging process which can consume up to half of the total development effort for a typical SoC.

As well as connecting externally with the debug host, the UltraSoC architecture includes an on-chip message-based interconnect, and allows monitoring of any third party processor core, bus or custom logic block. This ability to create a holistic, overarching development and analytics solution is key to solving the tricky problems posed by heterogeneous multi-core SoCs running complex software.

UltraSoC; www.ultrasoc.com

Lauterbach GmbH; www.lauterbach.com