by Dr. Lauro Rizzatti, Verification Consultant, Rizzatti LLC
THE SECOND DECADE
In the second decade, the hardware emulation landscape changed considerably with a few mergers and acquisitions and new players entering the market. The hardware emulators improved notably via new architectures based on custom ASICs. The supporting software improved remarkably and new modes of deployment were devised. The customer base expanded outside the niche of processors and graphics, and hardware emulation slowly attracted more and more attention.
While commercial FPGAs continued to be used in mainstream emulation systems of the time (i.e., Quickturn, Zycad and IKOS) four companies — three startups plus IBM — pioneered different approaches.