THE LAST DECADE
At the beginning of the third decade, circa 2005, system and chip engineers were developing evermore complex designs that mixed many interconnected blocks, embedded multicore processors, digital signal processors (DSPs) and a plethora of peripherals, supported by large memories. The combination of all of these components gave real meaning to the designation system on chip (SoC). The sizes of the largest designs were pushing north of 100-million gates. Embedded software—once virtually absent in ASIC designs—started to implement chip functionality.
By the end of the hardware emulation’s third decade, i.e., 2015, the largest designs are reaching into the billion-gate region, and well over 50% of functionality is now realized