As portable computing devices advance in power and complexity, development-tool makers must keep up or die. Claiming strides this week are simulation-tools maker Virtutech and chip-maker Freescale Semiconductor, which are showing a version of Virtutech’s Simics virtualized software development environment with hybrid simulation capability. The initial release supports Freescale’s eight-core QorIQ P4080 communications platform processor. The tool is on display at the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando, Fla., through Thursday.
The benefit of its hybrid capability, according to Virtutech, is the capacity to “mix detailed and fast models both temporally and spatially,” allowing developers in a single simulation session to mix and switch between models at various levels of abstraction depending on the areas in need of attention. “Using a hybrid solution also enables developers to run a full operating system on the cycle-accurate model without having to model the all peripheral devices in full clock cycle-accurate detail.”
Simics simulation environments are fully reversible and deterministic, for “easy experimentation with partitioning, parallelizing and optimizing systems and applications,” the company says. Sessions allow engineers to analyze, debug, profile and execute their applications in a fast, functionally accurate transmission-line matrix (TLM)-based model, “then switch to the cycle-accurate model for performance analysis. The tool also allows developers to build and test applications in advance of target silicon and to add fast models of other machines and networks to their hybrid sessions.
Markus Levy, president of the Multicore Association vendor consortium praised and highlighted the importance of the alliance. “Freeescale’s partnership with Virtutech shows that the hardware designers are thinking ahead and helping to solve problems for software developers. Without this kind of collaboration, multicore processors cannot realize their full potential.”