DAC 99 Slides
Comparison with other Verilog simulators
TauSim provides extremely high performance.
TauSim is highly optimized for design debugging with full performance available for any simulation. This differs from a parallel simulator, which achieves batch mode speed by simulating several test cases in parallel.
On parallel simulators, a debugging simulation may achieve only a fraction of the batch mode performance, since only a single test case is being run. A similar effect will occur whenever test cases are run serially.
With TauSim, even the gate level model for a microprocessor can run at millions of cycles per day, so lengthy serial processes such as OS boot tests can easily be run.
Comparison with Hardware Accelerators
With an accelerator, often the only upgrade path is to purchase a new acceleration system to replace the old one, greatly shortening the productive lifetime of the large capital investment.
Price / Performance
If the testbench code for a design consumes even 10% of the total simulation time, then a theoretical speedup of 9x is all that can occur even if an accelerator for design code is infinitely fast. In our experience, TauSim on the right simulation platforms provides the best price / performance ratio of any simulation solution.
An accelerator may only be able to run one simulation at a time. This can greatly limit the number of debugging simulations.
Low Entry Cost
This allows initial work on even a very large project to be done without the capital expenditure of an accelerator.
Incremental Capacity and Performance
The capacity and performance of an accelerator is often available only in large increments and there may be a fixed relationship between capacity and performance. It may be necessary to buy a bigger and more expensive machine than is desired, in order to get the needed performance. Or it may be necessary to buy a faster and more expensive machine than is desired, to get the needed capacity.
An accelerator is similar to a low frequency hardware prototype. Debugging a design may be more complicated than with a simulator and may be limited to one engineer at a time. Compile times may be long and when a large amount of behavioral modeling or file I/O is done, an accelerator may only run at software speeds. These effects can limit the utility of an accelerator in some environments.
Copyright 2001 Tau Simulation