Maximizing SoC Performance: The Role of Embedded Software and Functional Monitors

By Tessent Solutions

In the rapidly evolving landscape of System on Chip (SoC) development, the demand for effective debugging and optimization is becoming increasingly prevalent. As SoCs grow in complexity, incorporating diverse architectures and managing varied workloads, the necessity for efficient validation, debugging, and performance optimization intensifies. This is where the pivotal role of embedded functional monitors comes into focus. They offer unparalleled insights into SoC performance and behavior, thereby facilitating the identification and resolution of potential issues. However, extracting these insights presents its own set of challenges. This piece will delve into these complexities, shedding light on how to maximize SoC performance through effective utilization of embedded software and functional monitors.

Functional monitors

Functional monitors are embedded instruments that non-intrusively analyze SoC behavior and performance. They provide rich data which can be used by analysis tools to provide insight into the issues that may be observed. For example, the Tessent AXI Bus Monitors are protocol- and transaction aware. They can be configured at runtime to provide numerous items of information, such as minimum/maximum/average latency of transactions; bandwidth; duration of transactions; counting and timing.

Tessent Embedded Analytics Monitors for a Typical SoC

Embedded software

Embedded software, specifically designed to operate on embedded systems, can act as an orchestrator for functional monitors. In many scenarios, it offers several advantages over host-run software. Firstly, it eliminates the need for a connector or probe, as it runs on-chip. Secondly, it allows for remote, in-field access, enabling debugging and optimization from anywhere in the world. Thirdly, it enables real-time error detection and resolution. Lastly, it supports edge analytics, performing preprocessing and analytical tasks on data gathered from sensors or functional monitors.

Developing a self-contained monitoring system from scratch is not feasible. This is where the Tested Embedded Software Development Kit (SDK) comes in. It allows the creation of embedded software applications that can work with functional monitors while staying on-chip.

Tessent Embedded SDK

The Tessent Embedded SDK consists of a set of software libraries is designed to be compiled and run on an embedded system within an SoC. It provides a way to configure and control Embedded Analytics monitors from within the SoC itself and process the resulting system-level behavioral data.

Embedded SW application built using Embedded SDK can configure Tessent Embedded Analytics modules 

Tessent Embedded Analytics functional monitors brings unprecedented visibility into the operation and status of the SoC into which it is deployed. The Embedded SDK provides a way to configure, control and process data from the monitors without having to connect an external software utility. While this is useful during SoC bring-up, it is invaluable during in-field deployments where an external connection to the SoC is often simply not possible.

For more information on Tessent Embedded Analytics SDK, please listen to our webinar.

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