Reference Virtual Platform of ARM Model Running Linux Under SystemC/TLM-2.0 Released by Open Virtual Platforms (OVP)

ARM Integrator Virtual Platform Speeds Embedded Software Development

THAME, United Kingdom, February 22, 2010 – The Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) initiative (www.OVPworld.org) has announced the release of a reference virtual platform of the ARM Integrator development board using OSCI SystemC TLM-2.0 C++. This virtual platform includes all the models needed for the virtual platform to enable users to run Linux. The virtual platform can be executed either in the OVP simulator (OVPsim), or in a SystemC/TLM-2.0 simulation environment using any of the industry SystemC/TLM-2.0 simulators. The virtual platform and all models are free and available as open source from the OVP website.

We have used the ARM Integrator virtual platform available from OVP to help our customers understand how Linux and drivers worked on their hardware,” said Dave Von Bank, president of Posedge Software, a consulting company for embedded software engineering. “We’re happy to use and contribute to the OVP open source initiative for embedded software development.”

The OVP ARM Integrator virtual platform can be used to understand the Linux operating system running on the development board, since the virtual platform simulation can provide more visibility and controllability than just executing and debugging on the hardware itself. The virtual platform can also be used for the development of applications running under Linux on an ARM-based system. Moreover, the virtual platform is open source, and it’s easy to add peripherals to the virtual platform using SystemC/TLM-2.0 models and develop drivers for those peripherals.

"For my course on System-on-Chip (SoC) Design, students learn about both hardware and software development aspects," said Professor Andreas Gerstlauer of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin. "We eventually implement a software defined radio design on an ARM-based FPGA prototyping board. I have found the Open Virtual Platforms models allow my students to simulate the software, from drivers to applications running on top of the Linux OS. We use the OVP models in a SystemC/TLM-2.0 simulation environment, and find them fast and easy to use. That the models are open source and come with excellent documentation and support is an added benefit."

Virtual platforms make software development easier and more efficient,” said Simon Davidmann, president and CEO, Imperas and founding director of the OVP initiative. “It’s great that students and software developers can have free access to use models that run at real-time speeds in industry standard simulation environments.”

The ARM Integrator virtual platform includes the OVP model of the ARM926EJ-S processor core, which runs at hundreds of millions of instructions per second (MIPS), as well as models of the other peripherals on the ARM Integrator development board. The virtual platform utilizes host workstation resources for keyboard and display. This virtual platform can be run in either OVPsim or SystemC/TLM-2.0 simulators, and in either simulation environment boots Linux in less than 10 seconds.

Open Virtual Platforms (www.OVPworld.org)
OVP, which is quickly becoming the de facto source for fast models of processors, includes the OVPsim simulator, libraries of models and APIs for developing new models. OVPsim executes platforms, including multicore platforms, at hundreds of millions of instructions per second, providing the speed that software developers require for simulation of embedded systems. Model libraries include everything from models of individual processors (over 40 available for ARC, ARM, MIPS, NEC and OpenCores) and component models to more complex platforms, such as ARM IntegratorCP and MIPS Malta development boards for running Linux. All OVP processor models include a SystemC/TLM-2.0 interface for easy integration in those virtual platform environments. OVP APIs enable the embedded software community to develop models of processors, behavioral components and peripherals, and to connect these together into virtual platforms that run the final target system software binaries unchanged. Since its founding in early 2008, over 2,100 people have registered on the OVP website.

About the OVP Initiative (www.OVPworld.org)
The OVP initiative was founded with a donation by Imperas of approximately $4 million of simulation infrastructure. The goal of organization is to help the industry to build an effective multi-core development infrastructure through the use and adoption of open virtual platform technology. The website serves as a portal for OVP members covering details about the technology, providing a discussion forum for the community, and links to download each component. The technology has the support of electronic design automation (EDA) companies, end users and intellectual property (IP) providers. Detailed quotations regarding OVP are available from http://www.ovpworld.org/quotes.

About Imperas (www.imperas.com)
Imperas provides methodologies, technologies and products to enable the efficient and effective verification of software functionality and software performance for embedded systems. Its products enable software functional verification, performance profiling, and analysis for embedded software operating on multiprocessor MPSoCs. With an engineering base in the United Kingdom, Imperas distributes its products to customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.imperas.com.

Imperas acknowledge trademarks or registered trademarks of other organizations for their respective products and services.

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