UltraSoC says this is the only monitoring and debug product capable of addressing the needs of designers using CHI Issue B, which is ARM’s most advanced bus specification for complex system-on-chip (SoC) designs.
Delivered as semiconductor IP, UltraSoC’s monitoring and debug solution enables reliable testing and problem solving of next-generation cache-coherent SoC designs based on the CHI Issue B specification, enabling customers to exploit CHI Issue B’s enhancements to security, data throughput and latency. Tackling coherency is, UltraSoC notes, of growing importance to designers of complex systems.
Support for CHI Issue B continues UltraSoC’s approach of offering feature-rich system-level monitoring and debug solutions with capabilities far beyond those offered within vendor-specific systems such as ARM’s CoreSight. Designers can use UltraSoC as an ‘overlay’ to access features not provided in their traditional debug system; or can opt to completely replace those systems with UltraSoC. This holistic approach to debug is particularly useful in multi-core designs: UltraSoC provides support for all common proprietary CPU architectures, as well as open-source processor platforms such as RISC-V.
“CHI is an increasingly significant protocol in delivering critical performance for on-chip networked SoCs: but it’s a fiercely challenging standard to design with, particularly after the update to Issue B” said Gadge Panesar, UltraSoC CTO. “Simple performance statistics are useful, but far from sufficient, and that’s where a solution – and a team – like UltraSoC’s, focused on monitoring and debug, can really help.”
Modern SoCs, particularly those used in highly-complex data centre, enterprise IT, or automotive applications, rely on flawless and efficient interconnections with the hub of a network-on-chip (NoC). The AMBA 5 CHI specification was developed to ensure that the interconnect itself does not become a bottleneck when traffic and system complexity rise. Designers can choose how to implement CHI according to the required balance of power, performance and [silicon] area. However, in these SoC design and system choices there are potential issues which may impact system performance, such as traffic issues related to cache coherency. By using UltraSoC’s monitor IP for CHI Issue B, designers of these complex SoCs can check performance, diagnose and predict such issues.
The CHI Issue B specification incorporates a series of significant updates that directly address latency and throughput enhancements. Two of the most significant enhancements are far atomic operations and cache stashing. Far atomic operations enable the interconnect to perform high frequency updates to shared data. Cache stashing allows accelerators or IO devices to stash critical data within a CPU cache for low latency access. More details on the new AMBA 5 CHI Issue B specification, atomic operations, cache stashing plus other enhancements, such as direct data transfer, can be seen on ARM’s blog.