Cadence Launches Protium X1, the First Scalable, Data Center-Optimized Enterprise Prototyping System for Early Software Development


  • Scales to multi-MHz performance for billion gate designs, up to 64X
    capacity over Protium S1, and introduces advanced debug capabilities
    that enable early software development AI, mobile, graphics and 5G SoCs
  • Includes a unified front-end with the Palladium Z1 Enterprise
    Emulation Platform for ease of adoption and fast bring-up
  • Offers the benefits of the existing Protium platform product family
    with the scalability of the data center
  • Innovative multi-user capabilities provide optimal utilization of
    the installed system at single-FPGA granularity for storage,
    automotive, image, consumer and medical applications

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today expanded its
Verification Suite and System Innovation offerings with the announcement
of the Cadence® Protium X1 Enterprise Prototyping
Platform, the first data center-optimized FPGA-based prototyping system
providing multi-MHz speed for early software development,
hardware/software regressions and full system validation. The Protium X1
architecture is applicable to a wide range of design sizes and
applications, from multi-billion-gate AI and 5G chips to single-FPGA IoT
chips and IP blocks. Using the Protium X1 platform, customers can
experience up to 80% faster bring-up, while also benefitting from
scalable capacity of up to 32 racks, offering up to 24X more capacity
than competing desktop prototyping systems. The platform also scales to
multi-MHz performance for billion gate designs, overcoming the
architecture limitations of traditional systems that drop in performance
for designs above 400 million gates.

For more information on the new Protium X1 platform, please visit

“Protium X1 marks the third generation of Cadence’s prototyping
platforms using Xilinx FPGA devices. As part of our long-term business
partnership, Xilinx and Cadence have closely collaborated to enable
Cadence’s software frontend to work seamlessly with Xilinx Vivado Design
Suite backend,” said Hanneke Krekels, senior director of Test,
Measurement and Emulation, Xilinx, Inc. “Cadence’s Protium X1 FPGA-based
prototyping platform is positioned to deliver multi-MHz performance for
billion gate designs using our Virtex UltraScale VU440 devices, which
deliver a 2.2x increase in device density and 21 percent more I/O,
making it ideally suited for scalable enterprise prototyping in the

Architected from the ground up to provide extreme scalability and
flexibility in a data center-optimized form factor, the new Protium X1
platform is the ideal solution for pre-silicon software development for
high-speed billion-gate designs. The platform eliminates the need to cut
down designs in size for FPGA-based prototyping, while enabling
hardware/software regressions at higher speed with less debug and full
system validation with real-world interfaces like USB and Ethernet.

The new Protium X1 platform offers:

  • Scalable performance: The platform’s new partitioning and
    interconnect technology enables the best possible performance and
    early firmware and software development, enabling customers to achieve
    up to 5MHz on billion-gate designs and up to 100MHz for single-FPGA
  • Scalable capacity: The platform features an advanced blade
    architecture that enables customers to scale up to 32 racks and 1,536
    FPGAs to handle large, multi-billion-gate designs that are typical for
    AI, 5G and graphics applications.
  • Fast prototype bring-up: The platform’s unified compile with
    the Protium S1 desktop prototyping platform and the Palladium®
    Z1 enterprise emulation platform, and the new and enhanced memory
    modeling and implementation capabilities, including support for UFS
    2.0, HMB2 and LPDDR5, allow designers to transition from emulation to
    prototyping in days, enabling earlier firmware development.
  • Advanced debug capabilities: The platform offers new
    productivity and throughput-enhancing features including a new
    high-performance data capture card, which captures thousands of
    signals for 10s of millions of clock cycles in real time.
    Additionally, it includes a new Prototyping Full Visibility capability
    that provides dynamic access to all signals without recompilation,
    improving overall verification throughput.
  • Multi-user functionality: The platform offers customers more
    flexibility and greater system utilization by offering single-FPGA
    granularity, allowing users to run jobs on the exact number of FPGAs
    they need while other jobs run simultaneously within the system, which
    can be used for storage, automotive, image, consumer and medical

“The Protium X1 platform is a breakthrough solution which augments
classic desktop prototyping with true flexible and scalable enterprise
prototyping required to handle the large designs for today’s
applications such as AI and 5G,” said Paul Cunningham, corporate vice
president and general manager of the System & Verification Group at
Cadence. “For the first time, billion-gate designs can be executed at up
to 5MHz, while the unified front-end with the Palladium Z1 platform
assures fast design bring-up. With the Protium X1 platform, customers
can now experience the same benefits they achieved from the desktop in
the data center.”

The Protium X1 platform adds enterprise prototyping to expand on the
popular Protium S1 desktop prototyping platform, and is part of the
broader Cadence Verification Suite. It further extends the innovation
within the Cadence Verification Suite and supports the company’s new
Intelligent System Design strategy by enabling system innovation through
early software development.

About Cadence

Cadence enables electronic systems and semiconductor companies to create
the innovative end products that are transforming the way people live,
work and play. Cadence software, hardware and semiconductor IP are used
by customers to deliver products to market faster. The company’s System
Design Enablement strategy helps customers develop differentiated
products—from chips to boards to systems—in mobile, consumer, cloud
datacenter, automotive, aerospace, IoT, industrial and other market
segments. Cadence is listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For. Learn more at

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