Full-chip simulations are very quickly limited by excessive simulation time as well as by the availability of appropriate models. In the same way, simulation of a system cannot be effectively performed at the most accurate level both because it requires too much simulation time and because multi-domain systems cannot be accurately modeled using a single design language. Furthermore, when integrating components into a system, the system designer must necessarily consider that they meet the specifications and that they individually work as specified. The focus is then on verifying that the assembly in the system works as specified.
The stake is therefore to use a methodology that will bring the best time/accuracy ratio. As indicated, performing a full-chip simulation is unrealistically long and deducing the performances of a complete system from the performances of each individual component is not accurate as it does not take into account the sensitivity to distortions and disturbances.
This article aims at explaining a new approach to simulation that consists in simulating functions of a system to check and optimize performances; it is called “Application Hardware Modeling” (AHM). We will first give the objectives, the steps and the benefits of the AHM approach. Then, we will highlight its use through Pop-up Noise simulation and, to finish, we will open towards other possible applications…