Register Management and Integrated Software on Silicon

We did an integration project with Verieda Ltd recently and issued a press release about it. Verieda is a new startup on the Cambridge scene and we met through the Cambridge Open Coffee network.

The interest in Register Management came from experiences in Embedded Software where we discovered that integrated software and silicon development was an essential rather than a luxury. Some of it was rooted in R&D methodologies and how the silicon design flow was integrated with the software development method. Most of it came down to person-to-person communication, IC design engineer and SW engineer working hand-in-hand throughout the project, and making sure that there were as few barriers as possible between the team members.

In many design meetings, once the top level functional blocks were understood, most of the work came down to the specific points of contact between software and hardware, and that was where the memory registers came in.

What was surprising back then was that there seemed to be very few tools to support this database-type problem. It often came down to an Excel spreadsheet that ended up as an appendix in the MS-Word specificication document. Not very maintainable, to say the least. And, in an industry where upstream design errors can have a massively expensive downstream impact, not a very robust error-checking strategy either. That need would seem to be addressed now by EDA tools such as the Verieda example.

Tags: Semiconductor Design