Open Virtual Platform (OVP) Initiative for Multi-Core Software Development Celebrates One Year Anniversary

THAME, England — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 22, 2009 The Open Virtual Platform (OVP) initiative ( www.OVPworld.org), founded by Imperas with the help of 18 companies and individuals from the embedded systems user community, processor intellectual property developers, electronic design automation, service providers and academia, has celebrated its one year anniversary. OVP technology provides solutions to the problems embedded software developers incur when modeling the multi-processor system on chip (MPSoC) that hosts their software. Imperas reported that more than 1,200 individuals have registered on the OVP website ( www.OVPworld.org) with more than 8,000 downloads of models and tools.

As demand for Multi-Core platforms and MPSoCs increases, the need for a suitable, cost effective virtualized software development environment has become critical. “We recognized the weaknesses inherent in the current development environments for software running on multi-core parallel platforms. The phenomenal success and support of the OVP initiative confirms OVP is addressing this need,” stated Simon Davidmann, president and CEO, Imperas and founding director of the OVP initiative. “We launched OVP a year ago to provide that infrastructure – free open source models and infrastructure focused on multi-core and speed – for simulating the platforms used for embedded software development. Our open virtual platforms provide a vehicle for embedded software developers, and deliver complete transparency and control over the software being developed. Simulation technology is the key.”

Imperas reports that the success of OVP is prompting processor vendors, OS providers, embedded systems companies and others to increase adoption of simulation technology and virtual platforms as key components in their development environments. Nine companies and institutions have already added their support to the original founding companies, bringing the OVP membership to 27 companies. These include: Cadence, CriticalBlue, Denali, EVE, Forte, MIPS, SpringSoft, Tensilica, Doulos, Posedge Software, VinChip.

“The ease with which users can utilize OVP to build a virtual platform, then integrate OVPsim with Cadence’s Incisive Software eXtensions product, enables much more rigorous and robust verification of hardware/software interactions,” said Ran Avinum, Group Marketing Director at Cadence. Avinum continued, “System and software developers can now take the same industry leading verification technology and methodology being used on the design of their SoC for verification of the virtual platform before sharing it with application developers, or of the complete application software system.”

“Developing software for complex SoCs demands the use of extremely fast virtual platforms. The success of Open Virtual Platforms is addressing these unique requirements,” commented Davidmann. “The availability of fast, vendor certified processor models and the growing library of open source components and platforms demonstrates that the embedded system community recognizes that OVP can help make software developers more productive, ensure higher quality software and dramatically reduce development costs for MPSoCs.”

Chezi Ganesan, President & CEO of VinChip Systems Inc., said: "VinChip, an established developer of hardware IP cores, believes that there is significant opportunity in developing models at a higher level of abstraction. Open Virtual Platforms enables IP providers like VinChip to add more value to our product line."

Year One Milestones:

The primary OVP objective is to enable the industry to build a suitable and effective multi-core virtual platform software development infrastructure. Year one OVP milestones include:

  • the development of 16 processor models
  • the addition of a native interface to the SystemC/Transaction Level Modeling (TLM)-2.0 interface
  • the availability of platforms that boot operating systems, including multi-core SMP Linux running faster than real time
  • the verification of processor models by 2 major vendors including the MIPS32 4K, 24K and 34K families being MIPS-Verified™ by MIPS Technologies and the ARC® 605 being verified by ARC International
  • research projects utilizing OVP by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the University of Southampton
  • the donation of open source peripheral and behavioral models to the OVP community, available for free download from the website
  • the integration of other tools to the Open Virtual Platforms simulator (OVPsim) for enhanced software functional and performance verification, including Cadence’s Incisive Software eXtensions (ISX)

In related news, the success of OVPsim on Windows and requests from the OVP user base for Linux hosted machines has led to its release for non-commercial usage.

Open Virtual Platforms

OVP 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 individual processor and component models to more complex platforms, such as MIPS Malta development board for running Linux. APIs enable the 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.

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