The most significant new capability of Simics 4.0 is the addition of Simics Accelerator(TM), a set of new features that boost performance and scalability, such as page sharing and multi-threading. This allows one Simics process to simulate several machines in parallel. The ability to spread a simulation across multiple host CPU cores is unique to commercially available, fast, functional simulators and improves performance simulation by up to the number of host CPU cores across which the simulation can be distributed. As a result, software developers can fully leverage the multi-core architecture of their host environment, i.e. PC with dual cores, or multi-processor servers, to run complex simulations of semiconductor or OEM environments, such as Networking equipments, Aerospace and Defense applications, or any complex applications at speeds that permit effective simulation during the complete development process.
"Our research continues to show that significant numbers of engineers expect their embedded system designs to be based on more complex hardware environments on future projects, and going forward, engineers anticipate that they will rely more heavily on virtual system prototyping/simulation methodologies," said Matt Volckmann, senior analyst/program manager, Embedded Software, Venture Development Corporation. "Enabling for the greater availability, interoperability, documentation, and reuse of system models will be key to future market success."
Simics 4.0 also provides an expanded set of APIs, which enables developers to integrate third-party models into Simics, and an enhanced version of its Device Modeling Language (DML), which is a simple and elegant declarative language for Transaction Level Modeling (TLM).
Leveraging the pre-existing capabilities of three previous versions of Simics, Simics 4.0 features an up-to-date repository that provides users with easy access to information on models for more than one thousand processors and devices.
4.0 main features are:
-- Simics Accelerator(TM) including pages sharing and multi-threaded simulation for performance and scalability
-- IPv6 and Hot Plug-in support for networking simulation
-- Visualization Console with performance monitor and memory viewer provides in-depth perspective on how a customer's system is running
-- Device Modeling Language enhancement for C/C++ and debug interface
-- Eclipse integration with Wind River Workbench 3.0
-- Integration with Freescale CodeWarrior(TM) development tools
-- Documented API and coding conventions for integration of third-party models
-- Repository of thousands plus of models of processors and devices.
Customer and Community Response
"Our customers are increasingly looking for fast system-level simulation tools as part of their development flow for multi-threaded systems," said Charlie Ashton, director of software at AMCC. "We are pleased to see the availability of multi-threading support in this new Simics release. Today, our customers use Simics models of current Power Architecture 4xx processors and we are looking forward to Virtutech providing models for our new cores and advanced SoCs as part of our long-range strategic partnership."
"Freescale is helping to unlock the full potential of embedded multicore technology by ensuring that our highly advanced multicore processors are supported by world class silicon enablement technology," said Chekib Akrout, vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking System Division. "With Simics 4.0, Virtutech continues to expand the abilities of its VSD platform, helping developers to harness the performance of multicore processors."
"Virtutech has been an active member in Power.org and has made an investment in supporting the Power Architecture roadmap since 2001," said Fawzi Behmann, chair of the marketing committee of Power.org. "We welcome Virtutech's renewed efforts and investment to bring more performance in fast, functional simulation for Power Architecture customers with Simics."
"The comprehensive and end-to-end Wind River Workbench development suite enables leading device development teams to bring advanced embedded products to market faster and easier," said Tomas Evensen, chief technology officer at Wind River. "The new multi-threading capabilities in Simics 4.0 are an innovative approach to leverage multicore hosts and help accelerate the overall development process. The Wind River Workbench development suite supports the Simics platform enabling Wind River and Virtutech customers to streamline development and decrease time-to-market."
Simics is a high performance full-system simulator that enables engineers to develop, debug, test and run their entire software application stack on a virtual representation of their target hardware named virtual platform. The overall engineering development efforts are reduced through advanced capabilities normally not available with physical hardware: non-invasive debugging and tracing, saving and later resuming execution, full deterministic behavior, built-in networking capabilities, forward and reverse execution, ability to examine, control, and break on any internal device and to inject faults, and the ability to save system state and later replay it. Simics runs unmodified production-quality binaries and can be used with 3rd party software development tools.
Virtutech, Inc. delivers product development process improvement through virtualized software development. Virtutech's Simics is the only commercial solution that delivers the four most important criteria for successful deployment of hardware virtualization in the electronics equipment development process: speed, scalability, model availability, and control. Simics allows for a revolutionary change in the product development process at a full system level rather than a component level. Simics customers report reduced time to market, better project risk management, and lower capital expenditure, product development cost and maintenance. They have also experienced increased quality and individual productivity. Virtutech is involved in several standardization organizations and trade associations such as ARM Connected Community, Eclipse, OSCI, Power.org, IBM PartnerWorld and The Spirit Consortium to foster adoption of virtualization in the development process of electronics systems. Virtutech serves the needs of the world's leading OEMs in the high-performance computing, aerospace and defense, telecommunications, and networking industries. Their customers include Cisco, Ericsson, Honeywell, IBM and GE Avionics, Wind River. Virtutech is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. For more information, visit www.virtutech.com.