Hardware-Software Co-Design Reappears

By nileshthiagarajan

Excerpt from article: “Hardware-Software Co-Design Reappears

It was hoped that co-design would bring hardware and software teams closer together. “It required restructuring a complete industry,” says Roland Jancke, head of design methodology at Fraunhofer IIS/EAS. “It would have meant diminishing the borders between hardware and software design groups, and making it a rule, rather than an exception, that an executable architectural model exists for hardware and software designers to work with instead of numerous pages of written specifications.”

There is widespread agreement on that point. “The number of changes that a project team would need to make to adopt a co-design methodology was immense,” says Frank Schirrmeister, senior group director for product management and marketing at Cadence. “When you consider how conservative most project teams are, the likeliness of a new methodology being adopted is inversely proportional to the number of changes it requires.”

And until recently, that wasn’t as critical from a business standpoint. But even with rising complexity, it’s still not clear whether that will be enough to upend the existing way of doing things. “Companies have been able to get away with over-engineering the hardware and independently developing the software and still producing economically viable products, especially when their competition have been doing the same thing,” says Russ Klein, HLS platform program director at Siemens EDA. “There are a lot of benefits to designing the hardware and software in concert, but the existing methodologies are deeply ingrained in the cultures of hardware and software developers, and the companies where they work. Overcoming that inertia will be difficult.”

Read the entire article on SemiEngineering originally published on July 25th, 2019.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at