This paper provides a brief genealogy of virtual devices, describes their characteristics and benefits, and presents two design applications that demonstrate its utility and effectiveness. Virtualization makes emulation more readily available to all design teams within a company and increases the flexibility, visibility, and capacity of emulation environments. Virtualized solutions add a range of capabilities that promise to redraw the functional verification landscape. These include virtual host, peripheral models (called “virtual devices”) and software debug technologies enabled by transaction-based, co-model channel technology. Virtual devices are an emerging technology, with products beginning to offer the same functionality as traditional In-Circuit (ICE) solutions, but without the need for additional cables and additional hardware units.

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