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Today, chips can be manufactured with a wide range of semiconductor IP, ranging from central processing (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) to power management and other analog devices, arranged on a single slab of silicon like articles on the front page of a newspaper. Not only are SoCs taking longer and longer to design, adding to overall engineering costs, but the manufacturing costs are also mounting.
Testing that the hardware and software are functioning correctly is also growing more expensive. Trying to change that is UltraSoC, which has announced a new debugging tool that can evaluate complete SoCs rather than just individual cores. UltraSoC said that the new UltraDevelop tool can trim development costs, save time and even enhance software running on multicore, multithreaded chips using a number of different architectures.
Instead of using separate tools for every architecture inside the chip, UltraSoC says UltraDevelop allows customers to view the whole system. The tool can simultaneously handle more than 20 processor architectures, including ARM, MIPS and RISC-V, among others. UltraSoC said that the new product will be available to early customers in the first quarter of next year. General availability will follow close behind, the company said.
The tool uses artificial intelligence to more accurately detect anomalies, locate hotspots and uncover the root cause of faults. These new capabilities could be used to test automotive chips for functional safety or detect security vulnerabilities, such as an unauthorized process trying to access protected memory. UltraSoC also said that they could be used to identify inefficiencies or other bugs in the software running on top of the chip.